EGV Collection

Embroiderers Guild Victoria Collection


Collection_resizedThe Collection began soon after the Guild was formed with a donation of an Ayrshire Christening Gown. Today the collection has over 1700 pieces, fully catalogued (on museum sheets and electronically) and photographed. The Collection aims to be representative of all types of embroidery -this means English, European, Ethnic and Australian. However, the Collection is primarily concerned with the conservation rather than the restoration of embroideries.

In general, embroideries are donated with very few being purchased. We encourage people donating embroideries to check with family members before donating the embroideries to the guild.

We are happy to look at embroideries on the first Wednesday of the month from 10.30am to 2 pm, and provide advice on appropriate cleaning, storage and general conservation of pieces. An appointment must be made with the Guild.

We are not able to provide valuations for embroidered pieces.


Items in the Collection are regularly on display in the Guild and taken to country branches. Pieces are also available for major exhibitions in the Guild, and for reference and study by teachers and students. Members of the Collection group are available to give presentations about embroidery to other organizations.

In addition to the main collection, the Guild also has collections of Lace and Historical Tools, which are listed separately on the EGV website.

Examples of Crewelwork

Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Crewelwork

Grey/fawn linen panel.  Tree of Life design of leaves, pomegranates and flowers worked in bright colours.  Long and short and filling stitches.  Mounted under glass, in a dark wood frame.    
1972    Australia






Fawn cotton gabardine basket with design of clouds and raindrops and butterflies on curved lid.  Tree and rabbit on front.  Tree and rabbit on back.  Lid finished with twisted cord and dorset button.    
Mid 20th century    
Made in Australia




Panel with a design taken from a mid 18th Century Bed Hanging found in the American collection of the Metropolitan Museum or Art. Typical crewel design in shades of blue on cream linen. Mounted on blue fabric covered board.    
Mid 20th Century    




04 Curtain
Curtain of natural linen twill.  Three bands of crewel (wool) embroidery, each in slightly differing designs of birds and leaves.  Wools in a variety of greens, yellows, browns and blue. 1900-20    Australia   


05   Cushion
Natural linen Cushion piped in cream.  Design is floral, in pinks, blues and greens.    




06  Picture
Picture of hydrangea flower heads and leaves.  Long and short stitch, stem stitch and French knots in soft pinks, blues and green.








08   Bedcover (3 images)
Linen Bedcover, beige with floral crewel embroidery.  Floral spot motifs, with blue leaf pattern border.    
Late 19th century    




07   09


This is a typical Royal School of Needlework Jacobean Crewel Sampler showing different stitches and techniques in shades of pink, gold, yellow, green and blue/green crewel wool on linen twill.        

Examples of Hardanger Embroidery

Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Hardanger Embroidery

0128128       Panel

Fine natural linen panel with an intricate design worked in natural thread.  The design is reminiscent of Hardanger and could possibly be a reproduction of an early form.



0566566       Collar

Collar with classical Hardanger design on Hardanger fabric.

Early 20th century.  


0567567       Blouse - Ladies

Cream linen blouse with high collar and full yolk, long sleeves and back opening. Two wide tucks down the front and pin tucking on the front and back. Yolk, high collar and cuffs embroidered in Hardanger embroidery.

Circa 1900





0568568       Blouse (Ladies)

Cream linen blouse with an upstanding collar, long sleeves and back opening, with wide tucks front and back. Collar, front panel and cuffs are decorated in Hardanger embroidery.

Circa 1900






0620620       Table Mat

White cotton table mat with a 6 cm border worked in a simple Hardanger style.







0637637       Mat

Mat on a grey-green evenweave double threaded cotton fabric, with classical Hardanger in matching thread.







0841ABCDEF841       Child's costume with several pieces:

  A.  Skirt: Black cotton with 2 green braid bands

  B.  Apron: White machine embroidery not Norwegian

  C.  Jacket: Red bolero (wool) edged in woven braid

  D.  Belt: Red wool, beaded in stars design

  E.  Vest: Red wool, black velvet edge, beaded with stars

                                                 F.  Hat: Red wool, black velvet edge, and beaded  in the traditional style of the Hardanger area.

                                                 Late 20th century  


0974974       Mat

White cotton Hardanger fabric with a Hardanger design at each end in white perle cotton.  Of interest are the patches of drawn fabric work, combined with the Hardanger.  The edge is hemstitched.




10191019      Needlecase

Square needlecase in cream linen.  Hardanger design in centre in fine ecru thread.  The needlecase is closed with a needle woven button.






15381538      Mat

Hardanger mat stitched in white cotton perle on very pale green evenweave linen, using kloster blocks, buttonhole edge, picots, eyelets and satin  stitch motifs.

Late 20th century.      




15451545      Mat

Square Hardanger mat on white cotton/linen evenweave fabric with traditional blocks including dove's eyes, woven bars and woven Maltese crosses. Crocheted edge.

Early 2000's    





16631663      Embroidery

A piece of embroidery, designed by the donor, using traditional Hardanger designs. Worked on beige linen. Traditional edge.










Examples of Assisi Embroidery

Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Assisi Embroidery


222       Sachet

Assisi work - natural evenweave linen with double running in black round the design then filled in with blue cross stitch, leaving the design 'voided'.

Mid 20th Century 




10711071071det1      Tea cosy

Evenweave cream linen, pattern in Holbein (double running) stitch.  Bird design voided and cross stitch, double hem stitch.





12971297      S1297detachet

Cream linen sachet with design of rabbits.  Blue cross stitch and hemstitching and black

backstitch, with the traditional 3 tassels in each corner. 2000    




13731373    1373det  Panel

Panel depicting a vase of flowers in a technique resembling Assisi work (with back ground

embroidered and pattern voided).  The piece is on evenweave fabric embroidered with two strands of stranded cotton - 1 brown, 1 orange.







14691469      Table cloth and napkins

Cloth and napkins (6) in cream evenweave linen. Cloth has a traditional Assisi pattern of birds in blue and black.  Hem stitched edge and traditional triple tassels on the corners.

Mid 20th Century




1469Adet         1469B       1469Bdet











17121712   1712det   Mat

Square mat on ecru linen, embroidered in Assisi style, with a square centre and wide border of animals. Orange cross stitch outlined in black.





Examples of Blackwork Embroidery

Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Blackwork Embroidery

0125125       0125detPanel

On fine white linen, the design of flowers and butterflies and leaves are worked in blue thread with some lurex also used.  A variety of traditional blackwork patterns.








0157157       Sam0158pler

Cream evenweave linen with a number of patterns in borders and squares.  Border of a diamond design.

Mid 20th Century       







09650965det158       Sampler

Cream evenweave linen with rows and groups of blackwork designs.  The lower groups of stitches are highlighted with gold.

Mid 20th Century
















10171017      Paperweight

Square glass paperweight with a traditional piece of blackwork set in base, embroidery is on

evenweave linen using a single strand of stranded cotton.






1428 1428det1428      Panel (Blackwork)


The piece is worked on white lugano in dark blue thread (one stitch in red).  The design is a

modern abstract using a variety of stitches.






15121512      Chess Board

64 squares, 32 embroidered, each with a different pattern.  Framed in a gold frame, with inscription "To celebrate the 50th Anniversary from the Blackwork Guidance Group".





1536 1536 det1536      Sachets

Three Lavender sachets in white evenweave linen, stitched in blackwork designs in cotton thread embellished with black seed beads and narrow black satin ribbons.

Two are backed with black wool fabric.

The third is beaded, with black synthetic textured satin fabric and edged with a cord.

                                                        Late 20th C



15371537 det1537      Mat

Cream evenweave linen mat with 8cm hemstitched edge and 64 outlined squares set out as a chessboard.  Alternate squares are filled with the same blackwork geometric design.  Narrow border.

Late 20th Century     





1547 det b1547 det b1547 A & B Samplers

White linen stitched in a variety of stitches in blackwork.  Edges are fringed.





1547 det a






16851685det1685      Pincushion

Chicken-shaped pincushion (Henny Penny) Blackwork designs on white linen, stitched in Perle 12 and cotton sewing thread. Black and gold beads and tiny gold sequins.

Early 20th C    







16921692det1692      Bag and Needlework Accessories

Linen bag, stitched in a single strand of pink cotton in traditional Blackwork designs. 4 pockets on outside of bag, fine cord with tassels to close bag. Accessories -needlebook, pincushion, scissor keeper, pincushion, and scissors.




Examples of Schwalm Embroidery

Note: Larger versions of these images can be viewed in the Photo Gallery > EGV Collection > Schwalm

13801380det1380      Needlework roll

Beige linen needle roll decorated with Schwalm embroidery in a floral design and a heart.  It is lined with a floral fabric.





15421542 det1542      Mat

White linen mat with hemstitched .25 cm hem with mitred corner.  Cream cotton thread in traditional Schwalm design with central large heart, 2 birds and 3 flowers.

Late 20th C     



15631563 det1563      Work bag

Deep pink linen bag with drawstring of handmade cord finished with tassels.  Monogram 'L' on the back of bag, inside an oval of embroidery.  Edged all around in scalloped buttonhole stitch.

 Late 20th/early 21st Century