Covid-19 Update

EFFECTIVE JANUARY 10, 2022: Due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases, masks must be worn while visiting The Charleston Museum and its historic houses. Thank you for your cooperation and helping our community to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

October 2, 2021 - March 20, 2022 | Historic Textiles Gallery



Charleston is well known for its balmy winters tempered by a subtropical climate. Yet even with sea breezes and palmetto trees, this slice of paradise is not exempt from cold snaps or the occasional snowfall.
Although the city has witnessed flurries throughout the years, the storms of 1899, 1973, and 1989 left the city blanketed in snow, with the most recent in 2018 which saw an overall precipitation of 5.3 inches.

With climate change, Charleston may see more than its fair share of snow and freezing rain in the coming winters. These short snaps of cold, wet weather won’t phase most residents of modern Charleston, but just sitting by the fireside would not have been quite enough to keep 19th century residents warm and toasty.
In this exhibit, you will see some historic fashions for winter, from 1890s children’s coats to 1920s fur stoles and 1950s acrylic sweaters. Along the way you will learn more about why wool and fur dominated the 19th century fashion industry, and how the rise of new synthetic materials has contributed to a changing climate in the 21st.