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The first-ever exhibition centred on the classic Mexican shawl.

Popular among revolutionaries, artists, writers and collectors, the rebozo takes its name from a Castilian term which means to cover or protect yourself.

The garment originated in Mexico during the early colonial period when artisans hoped to emulate the embroidered shawls and mantillas of the Spanish. Its popularity meant it became a central element of the nation's traditional women’s outfit, the China Poblana.

Today, most Mexican women own at least one rebozo and it is seen as an essential part of daily life. Still woven using traditional techniques, it is worn from birth to death and functions as both a baby carrier as well as a shroud.

The exhibition includes historic rebozos from the Franz Mayer Museum in Mexico City, as well as examples once owned by folk art academic Ruth D. Lechuga, which are travelling to the UK for the first time.

Also on display are works by painters, conceptual artists and fashion designers, who were invited to present their response to the rebozo. Among those featured are Francisco Toledo, Carla Fernandez, Kaffe Fassett and Zandra Rhodes.

Fashion and Textile Museum

83 Bermondsey Street, London, Greater London, SE1 3XF

020 7407 8664


Opening times

Tuesday: 11am - 6pm
Wednesday: 11am – 6pm
Thursday: 11am – 6pm
Friday: 11am – 6pm
Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Last entry: 45 minutes before closing

Sunday & Monday: closed

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the Fashion and Textile Museum. Our number one priority remains the health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff.

We have made changes and introduced new measures to help keep you and our team safe during your visit. To read our Safe Visiting Guidance in full, please head to our website.

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