Main image: 1953: Gervais Purcell, gift from Leigh Purcell, copyright Leigh Purcell. ANMM Collection ANMS1405904

(An historical look at swimwear)

Stage 5 Textiles Technology
This hands-on workshop explores the evolution of swimwear from historical, cultural and social perspectives. Students are given access to a range of swimwear and accessories held in the Museum’s Education Collection and participate in activities that involve handling and examining these items. The students will have the opportunity to examine changing textile technologies, design practices, also textile properties and performance. 

Students will be introduced to a brief historical outline of costume design and conservation principles. They then will look at designs that have been inspired from the past then develop their own retro swimwear design.

NSW Curriculum Links

5.1.1 (properties and performance); 
5.1.2 (selection of textile materials); 
5.2.1 (creative process and design); 
5.2.2 (generates and develops textile design ideas); 
5.2.3 (methods of colouration and decoration); 
5.3.1 (analyses influence of historical, cultural and contemporary perspectives on textile design, construction and use); 
5.3.2 (evaluates impact of textiles production and use).


Price: $15 per student.

Teachers and supervising adults visit FREE of charge within the ratios specified in Plan Your School Visit. Additional adults will be charged the student rate.

More information

  • Program duration: 2 hours includes 10-minute break
  • Price: $15 per student. Teachers and supervising adults visit free of charge within a supervisor/student ratio of 1:20. Additional adults will be charged at the student rate.
  • Entry to exhibitions and vessels: bookings include free entry to museum exhibitions, Action Stations and destroyer HMAS Vampire (a supervisor/student ratio of 1:15 applies on HMAS Vampire).
  • Location: Peter Doyle Learning Centre, Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney.