The Kurdish Textile Museum is a museum devoted to textiles produced in Iraqi Kurdistan. It was established in 2004 and is located in a renovated mansion in the southeast quarter of the Citadel of Erbil.
Textiles are a central expression of Kurdish culture and it is a great pleasure that the Kurdish Textile and Cultural Museum, founded in 2004, is now open again in the Hashim Chalabi mansion (built c. 1935) after comprehensive upgrading supported jointly by the German Federal Foreign Ministry and the Governorate of Erbil.
The museum displays have been completed reorganised and reinterpreted and the textiles on display have all been cleaned. Arrangement is thematic and provides an excellent introduction to the woven outputs of the nomad tribes and those of the Erbil plain, with informative captioning in English, Kurdish and Arabic.
There are also displays of costumes, agricultural instruments and daily life. The upper store of the front facade, consisting of an impressive undulating oriel window extending the whole width of the building, has now been fully restored to its original design, having been demolished in the 1980s.
The new galley behind houses the Qelat Cafe, where you can enjoy high quality coffee and tea sitting, if you wish, in a nomad tent. The Museum justifiably remains the premier visitor attraction in Erbil Citadel, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2014, as well as in wider Erbil and the Kurdistan Region. Opening hours are now 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. every day except Fridays, when the museum is closed.
The Museum has additional premises in the Citadel for its Women’s Income Generation Project, where young women receive training from older nomad ladies on the weaving skills which were lost when Saddam Hussein destroyed two thirds of the rural Kurdish villages, and traditional felt-making can also be seen.