Skip to main content

Mrs Linda Hurley, as Patron of the Embroiderers’ Guild NSW, is delighted to host a beautiful and historic display of work from the Guild’s members and collection, at Government House Sydney.

 Mrs Hurley

Mrs Hurley and Mrs Sue Gower, Embroiderers’ Guild NSW Collection Custodian, at the ANZAC postcard display.

OUTER HALL - First World War Memorabilia

A unique and moving collection of embroidered postcards and one tambour-work sent from Australian soldiers posted in North Africa and Europe during World War One, back to their loved ones in Australia.

Embroidered silk postcards were first made in 1900 for the Paris Exposition but their popularity peaked during the First World War, 1914 - 1918.  Predominantly French companies employed women to produce the silk cards on an assembly line basis. The cards were mostly hand embroidered in the homes of the local women and then sent to the factories for cutting and mounting.  This cottage industry provided a much needed source of income to these communities. 

Production declined after the war and, by the 1930s, machine made cards had replaced the industry. It is estimated that up to 10,000,000 handmade cards were produced from 1915 to 1919.


Some of the cards displayed bear messages on the reverse side and allow us to remember those men on the front lines who were thinking of home:

CARD:  “1918 in Flags – Souvenir de Belgique”

“Christmas Greetings to all at home from your loving son Clive Jordan Vally 12/9/18.

I am sending these cards early for fear I do not get another chance to get any written to you all later.  I hope you all like the cards I send

Love and tons of kisses to all

Your loving son, Clive”

CARD:  “Floral Happy New Year with small greeting card under flap”

Dear Old Dad

I know that P C are not much in your line but this struck me as being rather nice so I got it.  So please accept it with best love from

Your loving Son


DINING ROOM – Victoriana 

This sample of pieces from the Embroiderers’ Guild NSW collection showcases the handiwork of women during the 19th Century.  The display includes ‘Berlin Wool Work’, infants’ clothing, tea cosies, a quilt and various embroidered items of clothing accessories.


table 2

BALLROOM / MAIN HALL – Contemporary Works

A collection of pieces ranging from the early 1920s through to the present day and showcasing a wide range of stitching techniques, embroidery and cutwork pieces.


Thank you to the Embroiderers’ Guild NSW for this Exhibition. Embroiderers’ Guild NSW is a membership body for anyone and everyone who loves to stitch or would love to learn. Founded in 1957, the Guild has around 1300 members and over 60 groups throughout New South Wales.

Back to Top