Until the end of the summer, Beyond the Surface: Worldwide Embroidery Traditions will continue to run at the recently refurbished de Young Museum in San Francisco. Showcasing a selection of embroidered costumes and accessories from around the world, this show explores the distinguished craftsmanship and unique cultural connotations attached to each garment on display. From Mexico to Japan and Uzbekistan, this exhibition truly hails from around the world.


In the show is one piece that spikes particular cultural interest; a child’s tunic from Turkmenistan, made by the country’s Tekke tribe. With many different tribes forming an important part of Turkmenistan’s culture, these communities are responsible for the five carpet designs that form motifs in the country’s coat of arms as well as its flag. Through fine details such as a garment’s distinctive colours, patterns, threads and stitches, this exhibition aims to use textiles as a lens through which to learn about the world’s many cloth producing communities in far away places.


Embroidery has embellished costumes and textiles for centuries, and with close attention it’s possible to use it as a way to tap into history and the lives that made it what it is. Beyond the Surface: Worldwide Embroidery Traditions is in fact a sister exhibition to The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion and Rock & Roll, another current exhibition at the De Young Museum emphasizing how global textiles and embroidery traditions were profoundly influential on the creative output of 1960s counterculture. With both shows on until the end of August this year, together they provide a global perspective on what effects a stitch can really have on society. For more information visit:

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