NEW YORK — Two years after the idea was launched, the Antonio Ratti Textile Center became a reality last week.
The center, which occupies about 25,000 square feet on the ground level of the Metropolitan Museum of Art here, opened last Thursday, and will house some 36,000 antique textiles, some of which date to around 4000 B.C.
Italian fabric entrepreneur Antonio Ratti, who started his Como-based Ratti firm 50 years ago, was on hand for the opening and said he hopes the center “will play a key role for all those who work on the creative side of the fashion world.”
In addition to the collection of textiles, the $10 million center includes a public access computer system whereby the textiles can be viewed without being handled, a 4,000-square-foot restoration room and a 10,000-square-foot storage facility, complete with flat and roller storage capabilities.
The Antonio Ratti Foundation put up roughly half of the funding for the center, with the balance coming from the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, Toyota Motor Corp., the National Endowment for the Humanities and private contributions.
“I’ve spent more than 50 years creating textiles, and now we have a place where designers can come and see the history of textiles here,” Ratti said.

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