Commemorative and commissioned textiles

Commemorative and commissioned textiles

The Scottish diaspora tapestry is a commemorative embroidery and a form of community art work organised by Baron Gordon Prestoungrange. The tapestry was designed on the theme of the emigration of Scots around the world. Communities and institutions (such as schools) in 25 countries where Scots have settled worked on the panels.

The Shorncliffe Military Hospital quilt is a commemorative quilt or autograph quilt, linked to the Shorncliffe Military Hospital (Folkestone, England). During the First World War (1914-1918) wounded soldiers, including Canadians, were treated here. In 1915, the Women’s Institute in Georgetown, Canada, decided to create something for ‘their’ soldiers in the hospital:

The Silver Jubilee Cope and Mitre is a set of an embroidered and appliquéd cope and mitre made to celebrate the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II of England (r: 1952-) in 1977. They were designed by British embroiderer Beryl Dean and made by needlework students of the Stanhope Institute, London.

An embroidered kerchief from the small town of Stadskanaal in the northeast of The Netherlands is an example of a commemorative embroidery, albeit on a small scale and of a somewhat unexpected character, a reminder of unsavoury aspects of recent Dutch history.

The World War I Altar Frontal is an appliqué made by injured soldiers during the First World War (1914-1918). It is an example of a rehabilitation embroidery. It belongs to St Paul’s Cathedral, London. It includes an altar frontal and an altar superfrontal.

The Embroiderers' Guild in the UK organised what would become the world's longest embroidery. The Guild did so to mark its 100th anniversary. Work started in 2003 and in 2009 it measured more than 605 metres, and thereby set a new Guinness World Record. The embroidery was hand worked by some 7000 embroiderers from all over the world.

The WSPU Holloway Banner is an embroidered banner that bears the names of eighty suffragettes who were on hunger strike in Holloway Jail, London, in 1909-1910. The banner was made from a quilt designed by Ann Macbeth. It was donated to the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU; Scottish branch) in 1910. The banner is now in the Museum of London collection (acc. no. Z6092).

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam holds an embroidered apron that was worked by Mrs Maria Christina Coppoolse (acc. no. NG-1999-18-A). The embroidery includes the texts, in the left upper corner: 'KRAMAT KAMP BATAVIA / 1943 - 1945' and in the right upper corner: 'Perlindoengan Tjihapit Bandoeng/ 2604-1944'.

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