FAMILIES heading for a day out in the Cotswolds could find themselves on an exotic voyage around the world if they stop off at Broadway Museum and Art Gallery.

The venue is hosting an exhibition of embroidered textiles from the extensive collections held at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford from Friday May 5 through to Sunday September 10.

Called Embroidered Bodies, the striking array of items takes visitors on a journey through Egypt, the Greek Islands, Saudi Arabia, Central Asia, Pakistan, India and China.

The exhibition will also include an 18th century Englishman’s waistcoat through to a Japanese coat from the early part of the 20th century.

The display has been organised by Aimée Payton, Eastern Art Administrator at the Ashmolean Museum. She said: “We have some stunning embroideries in our stores, many of which have never been on display before so I am very excited to share these wonderful pieces with visitors to The Broadway Museum.”

There are hundreds of different ways to make an embroidery stitch. Some techniques, such as chain stitch, are universal and mastered by embroiderers everywhere. Others are often only found in specific countries.

The stitches chosen can be the first clue in revealing the story of each garment and delicate stitches exquisitely depicting animals, flowers, people, and patterns can provide fascinating information about the wearer.

Aimée added: “I am fascinated by how much the choice of stitches can tell us so much. Stitches can help identify where something was made, who wore it, and often why. I am drawn to garments that do not seem to fit the story exactly as they usually have a complicated story. Maybe they were made for a traveller, for the export market, or have been altered to update the style.”

She said one of her favourites is a Chinese robe, also called an AO. “It is decorated all over with quirky cranes which look like they are dancing. This informality is unusual for Ao designs but there are a few similar examples in other museums.”

Embroidered Bodies tells many stories, giving an insight into how these beautifully stitched garments would have been made and worn. Families are encouraged to visit and discover the threads of the tales within the stitches and unravel the meaning behind the embroidered garments.

For more information about the exhibition visit https://broadwaymuseum.org.uk/event/embroidered-bodies-textiles-exhibition-tbc/ or call 01386 859047.

Anyone going along to the museum during May will also have the opportunity to see a display of Roman coins which are part of the Bredon Hoard discovered in Worcestershire in 2011. A talk will place at the museum at 7pm on Thursday May 18 providing more information on the hoard.