In the 18th century, woman who through poverty and deprivation were unable to care for their newborn babies, would take them to The Foundling Hospital in Bloomsbury, London. Between 1741 and 1760 more than 4,000 babies were left. Mothers would pin a small piece of fabric, from a dress or handkerchief, to the child’s clothes. This would serve as identification and a way of leaving a little piece of themselves behind . These would be filed away and have now become the largest collection of 18th century textiles in the country.
Threads of Feeling is an exhibition of these fabric tokens and the stories of the children who were left. The exhibition continues until March 6th 2011. Visit the Foundling Museum website for more details.