Monday, June 4, 2012

Royal School of Needlework

I am a huge fan of classic hand embroidery in all its forms-- crewel, stumpwork, goldwork, you name it.  It is well beyond my skill level, yet I buy every book I come across on the subject, especially those from the Royal School.  Isn't it wonderful that embroidery is still such a revered and even necessary art form in England, Europe and Australia?  When I first learned about the Royal School of Needlework I was amazed that a degree college for needlework existed-- it would be like finding a real Hogwarts if you are a Harry Potter fan! It certainly made me wish that I lived in the UK, and not just for the RSN, but also for the City & Guilds School (sort of a Junior College RSN equivalent that also offers needlework courses.)
What got me thinking about RSN today was that they were featured on CBS News Sunday Morning yesterday.  If you would like to watch the video, go to the CBS site here.

The location of the Royal School is inside Hampton Court Palace (could it get any better??!)

Here is a photo of their lovely course catalog:

This is a picture of the first book (to my knowledge) from RSN that was widely distributed worldwide. It is not currently in print but can still be found from resellers.  It is fabulous, I can't recommend it enough! 

I also have to highly recommend any of the new series of books that RSN has been producing recently.  All are technique books focused on a single subject-- blackwork, crewel, stumpwork and silk shading are the ones released so far.  The silk shading one is my favorite, but I think the stumpwork guide is the most useful for needlepointers.

Hope you get a chance to check out the video and the books, I think whatever type of needlework you enjoy, there's a good chance you will find something here that will interest you.  


  1. I completely understand about the books. At this point in time I have over 30 embroidery books. I am sure my husband thinks I'm crazy, but I have already learned so much from them. I look forward to actually learning from actual people soon; I am starting classes in San Francisco in October.

  2. That's great Ren, you'll enjoy the classes I'm sure and you have prepared yourself for an even better class experience with what you have learned from your books (that's been my experience anyway!)