'Royal embroidery' exhibition offers unique opportunity to admire new curtains residential palace of Queen Máxima and King Willem-Alexander

This autumn, the new curtains for Huis ten Bosch Palace - the residential palace of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima - are on display at the TextielMuseum in Tilburg. Her Majesty Queen Máxima is embroidering together with more than 150 embroiderers from all over the Netherlands on this new cultural heritage. The exhibition 'Royal embroidery: stories and craftsmanship' features the new curtains along with the historical curtains that inspired them. The exhibition, on view from 1 December 2022 to 29 May 2023, offers a glimpse into the making process of this extensive project and shows the wealth of stories that emerge when people embroider together.

The exhibition 'Royal embroidery: stories and craftsmanship' offers visitors the chance to admire the new curtains before they are installed in the palace's Chinese Hall. The curtains are a contemporary reinterpretation of the original curtains made in 18th-century Canton, which are too fragile and need to be preserved. The TextielLab - the TextielMuseum's workshop - machine-embroiders the new curtains, after which embroidery enthusiasts from across the country add embroidery by hand. An extensive process to which many hands contribute. The exhibition offers a unique insight into the palace, a look behind the scenes of the design and making process and highlights the craftsmanship, passion and personal stories of the embroidery enthusiasts involved.

New Dutch heritage

The first room reflects the atmosphere of the Chinese Room; in addition to the historic curtains, one finds authentic furniture, fireplace screens and a dinner service from the 18th century. Visitors can zoom in on the highly detailed embroidered scenes on the historical curtains. Several audio clips take visitors into the stories behind the Chinese scenes. For example, an audio clip highlighting a scene of villagers washing clothes in the river offers insight into the social status, costumes, symbolism and architecture of China at the time. In the next room, visitors discover the new curtains, designed by Hague-based designer Liesbeth Stinissen. On display is the Dutch delta, inspired by the Chinese river depicted on the historical curtains. The meandering delta connects various architectural icons and everyday scenes from rich Dutch history, some of which also have a special connection to the Royal Family. Examples include the Delta Works in Zeeland, NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam and the Sint Servaas Bridge in Maastricht.


The TextielMuseum - a museum and workshop in one - always focuses on the making process in addition to the end result. The exhibition 'Royal embroidery' takes visitors through all the steps of the design and making process of the new curtains. In a studio setting, Liesbeth Stinissen's research is shown through design sketches and samples. The design choices and creative processes made by Stinissen can be seen. A film shows how Stinissen, together with embroidery expert Frank de Wind, explored the numerous possibilities of computerised embroidery in the TextielLab and overcame the necessary additional technical challenges. Various tactile samples allow the embroidery to be studied up close.

Dutch Embroiders

The final room focuses on the craft enthusiasts who contributed to embroidery. Under the guidance of master embroiderer Anna Bolk, more than 150 participants from various embroidery groups and Her Majesty Queen Máxima helped develop the curtains, from a group from Kollumerzwaag to a group in Middelburg. By means of personal embroideries, stories can be discovered behind their passion for embroidery - which sometimes goes back generations. In this room, the exhibition shows the connecting role of embroidery as a means of meeting, talking and exchanging knowledge and skills.

The exhibition 'Royal Embroidery: stories and craftsmanship' is made possible thanks to the structural support of the Province of North Brabant, Municipality of Tilburg and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and in cooperation with Royal Household Service.

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