The special exhibition All sewn up. Woven and Embroidered Textiles from the Ottoman Empire features finely embroidered textiles with two identical show sides from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
On 17 November 1922, Sultan Mehmed VI Vahideddin left the city of Istanbul on board a ship and sailed into exile. This marked the end of the Ottoman Empire, which had held sway for over 700 years (1299–1922) and at its greatest extent spanned three continents.
Finely embroidered textiles number among the masterpieces of Ottoman art: Cushion covers and wall hangings defined interiors, tablecloths and serviettes made a special occasion of every meal and towels were important accessories for the hammam.
In combination with everyday objects, textiles made of linen or cotton and decorated exquisitely with silk and metal threads enhanced the regular activities of the urban elites.
An occupational guild of male embroiderers worked for the court and wealthy urban citizens, while further high-quality work was mass-produced by urban embroiderers of both sexes. A high proportion of the embroidery was created from templates in the homes of the needleworkers for their own use and special purposes such as a trousseau. In Anatolia woven dowry textiles with blue and red weaving patterns were also produced.
With around 70 textiles artistically decorated with flowers, fruit or architectural elements and everyday articles from the collections of Werner Middendorf and Ulla Ther as well as the inventory of the Museum Fünf Kontinente, the exhibition sheds light on various aspects of life in the Ottoman Empire.
Mode- & Textildesign