Chance to add a stitch to the world’s longest embroidery which is visiting Norwich

06:30 20 June 2012

The Embroiderers

The Embroiderers' Guild Norwich branch members Carolyn, Dilys Harvey and Sue Leonard with the world's longest embroidery in the run up to their regional event in July. Photo by Simon Finlay

Archant Norfolk Copyright

People are being invited to add a stitch to the world’s longest embroidery which is visiting Norwich for a special event.

The embroidery – which is more than 600 metres long – will take centre stage at the Embroiderers’ Guild eastern regional day, Above and Below the Surface, which is being held at the John Innes Centre on Saturday, July 7.

The day is being organised by the Norwich, King’s Lynn and Waveney branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild.

Gill Riordan, chairman of the eastern region of the Embroiderers’ Guild and a national trustee of the organisation, said: “It will be a day of fun, fellowship and the excitement of stitch.

“We hope as many people as possible will come along to the event and add a stitch to the world’s longest embroidery.”

She said the embroidery’s colourful decorations so far included everything from flowers to 3D insects to people’s names to a pink square embroidered by a three-year-old, and she said people were free to chose what they would like to add to the work.

The world’s longest embroidery was started in 2003, and more than 7,000 people from across the globe took part in creating the embroidery that at 605.55 metres long (1,986.77ft) set the world record for stitching the longest embroidery.

It has continued to be embellished at events around the country promoting the Embroiderers’ Guild, with people being encouraged to add to the work.

Also at the Above and Below the Surface event on July 7, there will be exhibitions of work by members of the three host Embroiderers’ Guild branches, local young embroiderers and textile artist Michael Brennand-Wood.

At 11am, there will be a talk by Mr Brennand-Wood followed by a talk at 2pm by Alastair Macleod, of hand embroidery specialists Hand and Lock.

Throughout the day, Jan Wright will also be explaining how the embellisher machine works, and Lynda Monk will be demonstrating mixed media textiles. The Embroiderers’ Guild national chairman Christine Poole will also be visiting the event, which will include more that 30 stalls, including specialist embroidery retailers. Refreshments will be served by Butlers of Norwich.

Above and Below the Surface is at the John Innes Centre, at Norwich Research Park, from 10am until 5pm on July 7. Entry on the door costs £5. Tickets to each of the lectures are £5.

There will be free entry for people just wanting to add to the world’s longest embroidery.

For more information call Mrs Riordan on 01508 494750.

The world’s longest embroidery will also feature in an exhibition of work going back 200 years from the Embroiderers’ Guild collection called Finest Stitches at Open Academy from Friday, August 3 to Sunday, August 5.

The exhibition will be open each day from 10am until 4pm and people will be able to add to the world’s longest embroidery.

Are you involved in a record-breaking attempt? Email reporter Emma Knights at


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