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The Cloth That Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons

The Cloth That Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons Claimed

Exhibition Overview

The Cloth That Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons

Exhibition Type
Art, Civilisations, History
Area Size
500 to 1000 sqm
Designed For
Museums and Galleries
Hiring Fee

For a 3-month rental excl. transport, installation, insurance:

This hiring fee is set for the following exhibition format:
See all available package options
Core Experience
Panels and graphics
Original collection


Credits / Image Information

ROM, 2020



Made with novel cotton, vivid colours, and exuberant design, the painted and printed cottons of India changed human history; they revolutionized art, fashion, and science wherever they went around the globe. Featuring pieces from ROM’s world-renowned collection, this exhibition explores how over thousands of years India’s artisans have created, perfected, and innovated these printed and painted multi-coloured cotton fabrics to fashion the body, honour divinities, and beautify palaces and homes. Exploring the fascinating stories behind the making and trade of these glorious pieces past and present, The Cloth that Changed the World considers India’s textile innovations and their influences on fashion, trade, and industry around the world in places as far as Cairo, Japan, Sumatra, London, and Ottawa. They were the luxury fabric of their day, coveted by all, and one of the great inventions that drew foreigners to India’s shores hungry for more. Discover how through trade-routes, encounters, and exchange, these cloths connected cultures, inspired imitation and, quite literally, changed the world. Experience how India’s designers and makers today are innovating for new times and audiences.

VR and App Content

Virtual tour link :

General Information

Available Package Options
Collection and interpretation


Past and Future Venues
Saint Louis Art Museum, October 2023 - January 2024

Extra Info

Curatorial excellence
Treasure collection
Highlights Details
-beautiful and colourful palampores, costumes, archaeological fragments, smaller textiles (prayer mats, kerchiefs, sarongs), block printing materials
-audio-visual content
-all mounts, mannequins, hanging systems
-graphic files sent digitally
Exhibition Add-Ons
Catalogue / book

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The Cloth That Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons

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