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School samplers

The Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh is the venue for a new exhibition on "School Samplers from the 19th Century". Running until June, it illustrates the importance placed on needlework within girls' education in the days before mass-produced clothes.

Although the focus is on samplers, visitors' delight at these charming works may quickly turn to dismay on learning that the perfectly stitched miniature clothes also on display were sewn by girls as young as four years old.

Many charitable schools made money by selling such needlework. In 1834, one Edinburgh school, established to house and educate the destitute daughters of Edinburgh merchants, had pupils sewing for up to five hours a day.

Closed December 25 and 26 and January 1 and 2. T 0131 529 4142

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