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MIAT, i.e. a museum of industry, work and textiles, was founded in 1977. It collects exhibits related to the medieval textile traditions of Ghent. The two main thematic currents at permanent exhibitions are the story of textile production (from growing fiber plants to finished products) and the history of the industrial revolution. Currently, MIAT has a collection of over 30,000 objects.
The collections created by MIAT illustrate all stages of product life: design, manufacturing process, finished products, their distribution process and consumer reactions. The collection includes a rich collection of materials and special-purpose clothing: firefighters' uniforms, medical costumes, as well as clothing for polar explorers. MIAT also organizes regular textile machinery demonstrations.
An interesting section in the MIAT collection are goods from the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) segment. They are mass-produced, but have a very short lifetime - preserved copies become rare and acquire a museum value.