Browse embroidery through the ages in an exhibition at Ely Cathedral

PUBLISHED: 16:51 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:34 08 February 2019

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL

Archant

A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day.

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRALThe Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition celebrates a history of textiles as an art form thanks to the Embroiderers’ Guild.

The collection is full of stories behind the techniques and styles on display.

A spokesman for the Embroiderers’ Guild said: “We hope that this exhibition will inform and, in some cases, offer surprises in the perceived conception of embroidery.

“The Beautiful Stitch represents the variety and scope of the collection, including textiles from the 16th century to the present day with examples of many techniques and from many countries.

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRALThe Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL

”Embroidery as art considers the emergence of textiles as an art form in the 20th century, when new materials and techniques became popular and art schools and colleges began to offer degrees in the study of textiles in many contemporary styles.”

There are different sections showcasing the progression of embroidery through the ages.

The embroidery in education section examines the importance of early needlework samplers stitched by young girls in the 17th century through to Berlin wool work samplers in the late 18th century and on to samplers of the 20th century.

Embroidery as fashion looks at the embellishment of clothing and accessories and encompasses work by professional embroiderers and current experts in the field, using both hand and machine stitching.

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRALThe Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL

The industry section shows how embroidery spread from individuals, through cottage industries to the mass production of embroidery in factories.

Embroidery as status encompasses the use of embroidery as a symbol of status. Used for many years by the wealthy and powerful in society.

In religion, royalty, government and power, embroidery emphasises rank and authority.

Tickets allow visitors standard entrance to the Cathedral plus the exhibition and cost £9, £6 for concessions or Embroidery Guild Members or £5 for cathedral pass holders and Sunday entrance.

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRALThe Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL

Children under 16 are free when accompanied by a paying adult.

There are also embroidery workshops in the coming weeks on glorious sunsets on Friday 8, stitched treasures on Saturday, fabulous flowers on Friday and colours of India on Friday 22. See the cathedral website for details.

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRALThe Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRALThe Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL

The Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRALThe Beautiful Stitch exhibition at Ely Cathedral. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL

A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.

A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.

A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.

A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.

A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.

A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.A display of fashion and textiles at Ely Cathedral offers visitors a peek at clothing from the 16th century to the modern day. The embroidery exhibition -The Beautiful Stitch - runs until February 28. Picture: ELY CATHEDRAL.

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