Taking the museum forward

The TextielMuseum wants to surprise and delight as many people as possible with textiles. We have ambitious renovation plans, to ensure the museum continues to meet the needs of visitors and makers of today and tomorrow. Our aim is to create a place where everyone – young and old, professionals and visitors – can discover, make, learn and meet. We also want to be at the forefront of transforming Tilburg’s Museum Quarter into the creative heart of the city.

Video about the impact of the TextielMuseum, now and in the future. Animation: Extrafazant


Tilburg Textile City: then, now, and in the future

Tilburg has been shaped by its textile past. Today, textile still plays an important role in everyone's life. Textile is everywhere around you: you wear it, and it is part of our interior. For centuries, textile has been used to tell stories. Moreover, it provides innovative technical solutions across various domains, from the medical world to the automotive industry. From the unique concept of the TextielMuseum - a museum and workplace combined - we make the transition from Tilburg's textile history to the present and future of textile. Through renovation, we can realize our dreams and make Tilburg a city to experience textile: then, now, and in the future.

Artist Otobong Nkanga and product developer Stef Miero in the TextielLab, the workplace of the TextielMuseum, photo: Willeke Machiels


Museum for the future

We want to accommodate the growing number of visitors and makers, improve the visitor experience, add new family offerings, and enhance the exhibition spaces. We will improve the overall layout and routing within the museum so that the textile story can be told in a clear and engaging way. We aim for 100,000 visitors per year. The renovation and sustainability of the monumental former textile factory - the icon of Tilburg's textile industry - are also part of the plans.

Family game in the exhibition 'Kleurstof' (Colorant), photo: Merel van Dooren


Creative heart of the city

Furthermore, we look beyond our own walls. We want to open up the museum grounds more to the neighborhood and provide a place for like-minded individuals. Together with partners and the municipality, we are exploring the possibility of repurposing the adjacent Drögepand, currently in temporary use. The diversity of parties will make the museum grounds even more attractive and dynamic for makers, companies, visitors, and local residents. This creative heart of makers aligns perfectly with the city of Tilburg's policy as the #cityofmakers, in a way that fits the original function of the textile factory: a place where business, creativity, and craftsmanship come together.

"This neighborhood, which naturally breathes textiles from the past, deserves it."

– Mariette van Dooren, local resident


First explorations of the potential redevelopment of the TextielMuseum and its surroundings in Tilburg, sketch by Mecanoo architects, June 2022


Tilburg chooses Mecanoo architects

In the spring of 2022, a committee consisting of the municipality of Tilburg and the museum selected Mecanoo architects and engineering firm ABT for the design research for the redevelopment of the TextielMuseum and its surroundings (read more here). In the coming period, they will work together with stakeholders, partners, and local residents to further develop the plans. The decision on the actual redevelopment is expected before the summer of 2023.


We have already started!

In the meantime, we have already begun implementing some plans in terms of our programming. For makers, we have expanded our machine park and developed an online platform for knowledge sharing, made possible by the structural contribution of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Visitors can also get involved in the TextielLab: in the Design Studio, they can design their own socks and see them being produced by the machine. This new permanent activity is made possible by the BankGiro Lottery and Fonds21. With the new style of exhibition programming, we focus on current social themes in the world of textiles, such as alternatives for a more sustainable fashion industry with the exhibition 'Long Live Fashion!'. We also experiment with offerings for a younger audience: in the exhibition 'Kleurstof' (Colorant), we developed a special family game where (grand)parents and children can experience colors together through touch, smell, and taste.