This display showcases a range of textiles from across the Mediterranean world and explores the embroidery practices that connect them. Mostly created by women, these lively and decorative textiles provided a means of self-expression for women and girls of all ages. Generation after generation of makers handed down their needle skills, creating pieces that reflected personal tastes, social standing and community affiliation.

In the main, the embroideries were made for use in the home, as cushions, towel ends, bed tents, or as clothing.

Common features included ships, vases, fantastical beings, humans, birds and even words, while other motifs denoted regional differences. Some patterns travelled, appearing on other objects, such as ceramics, from opposite ends of the Mediterranean.

The selection curated here for the Shiba Gallery begins to tell the intertwined stories stitched into these detailed and delicate embroideries.