Royal embroidery – stitches and stories

Italiano (Italian)

1 December 2022 – 29 May 2023
Textielmuseum Tilburg, NL

Seize your chance to admire both the historical and new curtains of Paleis Huis ten Bosch – the residential palace of Her Majesty Queen Máxima and King Willem Alexander – in the TextielMuseum!

About the exhibition

Royal embroidery: stitches and stories’ gives visitors the unique opportunity to admire both the historical and new curtains for Huis ten Bosch Palace, the royal residence of Her Majesty Queen Máxima and King Willem-Alexander. Together with more than 150 embroiderers from across the Netherlands, Her Majesty Queen Máxima helped embroider this new piece of cultural heritage. The exhibition offers a rare look inside Huis ten Bosch Palace and a glimpse behind the scenes of this extensive creative project while revealing the wealth of stories that arise when people embroider together.

Old and new

The historical curtains, which hung in the Chinese Hall of Huis ten Bosch Palace, were made in 18th-century Canton, China. The curtains are now too fragile for use but can be seen in the TextielMuseum for the last time before they are preserved. The curtains depict numerous embroidered scenes that are highly symbolic. The multifaceted stories hidden behind the everyday images provide insight into the social status, dress and architecture of China at the time.

Dettaglio delle tende storiche, laboratorio di ricamo sconosciuto di Guangzhou, 1791 circa. HTB 0680, Collezioni reali dei Paesi Bassi all'Aia, foto: Maarten Schuth

A new design

The new curtains were designed by The Hague designer Liesbeth Stinissen, who took inspiration from the historical curtains. For example, water and other natural elements play a prominent role on both the historical and new curtains. Where the historical curtains depict a Chinese river, the new curtains show the Dutch river delta. The meandering waterways connect various architectural icons and daily scenes from The Netherlands’ rich history, some of which have a special link to the Royal House.

Un esempio delle nuove tende per il Palazzo Huis ten Bosch, che mostrano il ponte Sint Servaas a Maastricht, foto: Patty van den Elshout
Dettaglio della nuova tenda ricamata a macchina disegnata da Liesbeth Stinissen, che mostra il Museo Teylers di Haarlem, foto: Josefina Eikenaar
Dettaglio delle tende storiche, laboratorio di ricamo sconosciuto di Guangzhou, 1791 circa. HTB 0680, Collezioni reali dei Paesi Bassi all'Aia, foto: Maarten Schuth


The exhibition takes you through all aspects of the new curtains’ design and production. Sketches and samples show the creative choices Liesbeth Stinissen made to arrive at the final design. In the TextielLab, Stinissen explored the countless possibilities of computer-controlled embroidery with machine embroidery expert Frank de Wind. Samples are provided for you to touch, helping to bring the intricate details of the design to life.

Connecting threads

More than 150 people from embroidery groups as far apart as Friesland and Zeeland as well as Her Majesty Queen Máxima herself helped to develop the new curtains. Overseen by master hand embroiderer Anna Bolk, they embroidered various natural elements that were then attached by hand to the machine-embroidered curtains. The exhibition includes a personal embroidery from each group. These tell the stories behind the makers’ passion for the craft, which sometimes goes back generations. Embroidering together creates connections and nurtures conversations and the exchange of knowledge and skills.

Her Majesty Queen Máxima and hand embroidery group ‘Ronde Tafelhuis’ from Tilburg attend a master class in embroidery by Anna Bolk as part of the development of the new curtains for Palace Huis ten Bosch that will be embroidered by the TextielLab – the workshop of the TextielMuseum. Photo: Maarten Schuth commissioned by TextielMuseum

More information:

Goirkestraat 96
5046 GN Tilburg

013 – 53 67 475