Royal School of Needlework was founded in 1872 and is renowned
for having the highest standard in the art of hand embroidery.
It runs courses and, thanks to Search Press, also produces
a series of books. This one gives a good grounding in appliqué
with something to offer for beginners through to more advanced
Starting with a brief history of the subject – apparently
it is 4,000 years old – the rest of the book is devoted
to practical learning. From discovering what you need to buy,
from fabrics to tools, through to how to get the best out
of them, this is definitely a book for those who want to produce
the best work possible. Learn about setting up frames, preparing
fabric, drawing a design and transferring it and then get
stitching. Each short chapter deals with a different aspect
of the craft and consists of plenty of captioned photographs
and finished examples. The photographs are not often large
but very clear, so it is easy to see what is going on and
also progress at a pace that is ideal for beginners. Other
topics covered include padding shapes, adding texture, working
with various fabrics from leather to sheers, using metal threads
and ribbon work. There are two actual projects to work through
after all the lessons -- one a fern, and the other a poppy.
Each puts the novice crafter through what they have learned
and is a good way of testing new skills. There are also a
few gallery pages for inspiration and at the back, a reference
section for embroidery stitches. When you have worked through
this, you will be an accomplished appliqué artist.
This is a good book for anybody who wants to produce some
top quality work.
If you cannot find a good range of appliqué materials
locally try www.searchpress.com for a list of suppliers.
Reviews of other titles in the Royal School of Needlework
RSN Book of Embroidery