Costumes and Textiles


The Swan Guildford Historical Society has an extensive collection of costumes, textiles and accessories from yesteryear.  Some items date from the 19th Century, evoking days gone by when ladies never showed enough skin to get sunburned, right through to more modern days.  Costumes tell the fashion and social history of Western Australia, giving insight into the frugality, ingenuity and imagination that went into producing hand sewn items, often in times of deprivation or hardship early settlers experienced.  The collection includes hats, hat boxes, shoes, boots, lace, hand made embroidered stockings, fans, shawls, wedding dresses, undergarments and  military uniforms.

Selected costumes from our collection can be seen in a temperature controlled museum space in the former courthouse, now the Swan Valley Visitor Centre.  The current exhibition called  “Walking through history: 100 years of wedding dresses” includes beautiful wedding dresses and accessories dating from the 1860’s through to the 1970’s.  It is a wonderful visual record of fashion through the ages, materials chosen by brides, and wedding day traditions.

Entry is FREE.  Opening hours: 9AM to 4PM daily.

Location:  Swan Valley Visitors’ Centre, corner of Swan and Meadow Streets Guildford.

Here are some examples of costumes held in our collection.