The Oriental Rug & Textile Society of Great Britain was established in 1977 to encourage enthusiasm and interest in carpets and textiles of Asia and the Middle East. The Society is now concerned with carpets and textiles of the whole world. 


We aim to advance understanding of the processes of making carpets and textiles, and promote knowledge of the traditional centres of weaving through specialist talks and in the pages of our journal.

The Society organises visits to museums, auction houses and private collections. Curators have always been exceptionally generous with their time and expertise, showing us treasures not normally seen by the public. 


Our overseas visits have included trips to Albania, Turkey, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Germany, Morocco, France, Armenia, Egypt, India, Iran and, most recently, Kyrgyzstan.

Do join us!


22nd September  2021 at 19.00 pm: Chloe Sayer will lecture on The Textile Arts of Mexico. Live at the University Women's Club, Mayfair, and via Zoom.


Chloë Sayer is a freelance specialist in Latin American art and culture. The author of several books devoted to Mexican textiles, she has curated exhibitions of Mexican folk art and has made ethnographic collections for the British Museum. She lectures for The Arts Society and the V&A, and is a Research Associate in the Department for World Cultures at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). Her book Mexico: Clothing & Culture was published by the ROM in 2015. In 2016 she was awarded the prestigious Ohtli medal by the Mexican government. Her latest book, Day of the Dead: A Visual Compendium, will appear this year.

Contemporary Mexican textiles are among the finest in the Americas. Five centuries have passed since the Spanish Conquest, yet Mexico is still home to more than fifty Indigenous peoples. The arts of spinning, dyeing and weaving are practised in hundreds of rural communities, where distinctive clothing styles endure. Cloth is elaborately patterned and textured on the backstrap loom. After 1521, colonisation brought new materials, treadle-loom weaving, beadwork, and an increased emphasis on embroidery.