The Lady Lever Art Gallery's textiles collection is especially rich in examples of British embroidery, dating from the late 16th century onwards. This includes more than 100 embroidered pictures, one of the largest collections of embroidered pictures in the country

Lever found embroidery, in particular the pictorial needlework he specialised in collecting, an inspirational art form.

He felt it demonstrated the high level of skill achieved by women, frequently teenagers, in the past which could be aimed for again.

His collecting started in the last few years of the 19th century for his first museum, Hall i’th’ Wood Folk Museum which he donated to his native town of Bolton in 1900. Later he bought embroideries for his various homes in Cheshire, London, Lancashire and Scotland. After 1923 he bought specifically for the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

At the opening of the Lady Lever Art Gallery in 1922 Lever stated during his speech his desire to display "Art of the home, not of the palace" as part of his wider desire to appeal to as many different tastes as possible. His embroidery collection was well placed to contribute to this goal.