Costume & Textile

Dress worn at Guild balls

There are over 6,000 items of costume at the Harris. You’ll find women’s clothes, menswear, childrenswear, babywear, and costume accessories in our collection. See highlights of our collection online at #WeWearCulture.

The earliest item is a pair of men’s silk slippers dating from the 1620s, with most of the other garments dating from the 1800s and 1900s.

Many of the garments have an association with the Preston region and have either been worn by local people or were made here. Highlights include a collection of 1950s dresses made by local manufacturer, Horrockses Fashions, items of fancy dress worn for Preston Guild balls, and clothing associated with the Second World War. There is also a collection of Asian women’s clothing featuring some beautiful embroidery.


The 600 items in this collection include embroidery, samplers, whitework, woolwork, quilts, lace, banners and commemorative textiles, much of which relates to the Preston Guild. In addition there are two large William Morris and Co. tapestries, and the Forbes Watson pattern books - The Textile Manufactures of India, a famous collection of fabric samples from the Indian continent dating from the 1850s. 

You can view the complete collection of fabric samples, find out more about Forbes Watson and the books by visiting


Fashion plates and women's magazines

The museum possesses a fine collection of over 2,000 unbound, hand-coloured fashion plates dating from the 1770s to the 1890s which have been taken from a variety of women’s periodicals. This collection can be viewed by appointment.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Harris Museum and Art Gallery

Market Square,
PR1 2PP 

T 01772 258248 (office 10am-4pm)
T 01772 905414 (event bookings)
E This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FREE Entry

f logoHarris Museum
And Art Gallery





Museum, Art Gallery, Library & Makerspace

Mon 10am-7pm
(Museum/Art Gallery 11am-5pm)

Tue 10am-5pm

Wed 10am-8pm
(Library 10am-7pm)

Thur 10am-5pm

Fri 10am-5pm

Sat 10am-5pm

Sun 11am-4pm

IT Centre Computers open 9am daily, except Sundays 11am

Café and Shop
Daily 10am-4pm, except Sundays 11am-3.30pm


Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August:

The Harris Museum & Art Gallery will be open on Sunday 11am-4pm and Monday 11am-5pm.
The Harris Library and Learning Centre will be open on Sunday 11am-4pm. Bank Holiday Monday opening to be confirmed.


Want to find our more about the Harris Museum & Art Gallery?
Join our free mailing list.

Interested in history?
Interested in art?
Tick if you are a member of Friends of the Harris
Email Format