Royal School of Needlework

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Art of Hand Embroidery

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Exhibitions and Events

RSN in-house exhibitions & events

Peacocks & Pomegranates -January to July 2016

Peacocks and pomegranates have long been used as motifs on embroidery in a wide range of cultures. Running from January until July 2016, the 'Peacocks and Pomegranates' exhibition will feature pieces from the RSN Textile Collection. This will include objects from China and India, as well as from Western Europe, that either take these icons as their central motif or feature them prominently. Visitors will see some exquisite pieces and some fun objects, including peacocks, in a variety of threads, beads and metal threads. There will be about 100 pieces in the exhibition representing a variety of materials and techniques. More information here

For Worship & Glory, Chester Cathedral - 3-28 February 2016

Embroidery has been used as part of worship for centuries on vestments, altar cloths, banners and other church furnishings. This exhibition from the Royal School of Needlework’s Collection features examples of hand embroidery for churches from the 18th century to the 20th.
The centrepiece will be six of the famous Litany of Loreto pieces. Donated to the RSN by nuns of the Convent of the Holy Child in Mayfield East Sussex (now closed) , they are exceptionally fine and worth close inspection. There are chasubles from the 18th century; an antependium designed by Matthew Webb, who was a pupil of renowned artist Edward Burne-Jones, and a number of pieces made at the RSN including a beautifully worked rendition of the Good Shepherd given back to the RSN in 2011.
There will also be a number of RSN students’ final pieces from over 50 years ago, which include a range of Christian motifs and symbols.
Altogether this exhibition will feature more than 50 pieces of work, many created as acts of devotion, for worship.
More Information here

External Exhibitions & Events

2016 Shows

The Knitting & Stitching Show, Olympia:  3-6 March (Workshops only)

Stitching & Sewing, SECC Glasgow: 3-6 March

Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch, NEC Birmingham: 17-20 March

Landmark Arts Centre Contemporary Textiles Fair, Teddington: 18-20 March (Workshops only) To book contact: Find out more here

Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts, ExCel: 7-9 April

Bath in Fashion: 18-24 April -  Workshop & Lecture: 19 April

Bath’s fashion, spa, and retail credentials have long had some serious show-stopping heritage. Bath in Fashion 2016 (18 to 24th April) sees the fashion pack descend upon the World Heritage City for a week-long celebration of fashion that promises stimulating debate, in-store events and fast-paced catwalks. Expect red carpet moments at Bath in Fashion 2016, with a line-up of stellar designers and global fashion experts. More information here

The RSN will be holding a lecture with RSN Chief Executive Dr Susan Kay Williams. 'Stitch in Fashion' will be held in The Tea Room at The Assembly Rooms, tickets cost £12. Embroidery has been having a great resurgence in fashion. The beautifully illustrated talk examines the types of embroidery that have been popular, the different garments that have been embellished, and the variety of wearers from the high street to bespoke commissions by the Royal School of Needlework.

The RSN will be hosting Magical Millinery - Make your own Headpiece with RSN Degree Tutor Sophia Malik and Degree Alumni Harriet Stiles.Taught by the Royal School of Needlework, this workshop is in response to the haute couture gown designed by Nicholas Oakwell Couture for the GREAT Britain Campaign, which was embellished by the RSN.  You will create a beautiful red and black headpiece, learning basic millinery assembling techniques including embellishment using beads and feathers. The GREAT gown will be on display in the Octagon during Bath in Fashion 2016. The workshop will begin at 10am and will be held at The Octagon in The Assembly Rooms. Tickets will cost £50 and includes all the materials needed for the workshop.

For bookings go to:  or call 0844 847 5256

The Knitting & Stitching Show, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh: 28 April-1 May




1953 Coronation Robe sampler

Contact details

To discuss events, exhibitions and the loan of RSN Collection pieces contact:

E: Jane Hitchinson
T: +44(0)20 3166 6936


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