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The RSN Book of Embroidery
A Guide To Essential Stitches, Techniques And Projects
Royal School of Needlework Series
BY Various

Search Press
16 July 2018/ ISBN 9781782216063
How-To Books/Embroidery

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


This is a compendium of all eight Royal School of Needlework primers and an ideal book to own for anybody who wants to learn several core techniques. These comprise blackwork, whitework, goldwork, stumpwork, crewelwork, canvaswork, silk shading and bead embroidery.

If you already own any or all of the earlier books, this is basically the same material but organized in a different way: all the information common to all the books, such as using a hoop or slate frame, transferring designs, and basic lists of materials are in a section at the front. This includes an introduction to the work of the RSN and a useful list with page numbers so you can easily find diagrams of the basic stitches.

The rest of the book is organized into chapters, one per book. These are not books of projects, but instead show you how to do the stitches and techniques that are unique to each style and thus make up your own designs. There are examples from the RSN’s huge collection of historical embroidery, also plenty of modern pieces showing how embroiderers can use the styles to tackle contemporary subjects.

This book will appeal most to anybody who has done some basic embroidery and wants to explore some of its many variations. The many staged photographs make tackling even the more advanced work relatively easy. And because this book has much larger pages than the original books, some photographs are a lot larger, although some are also smaller I recommend this very user friendly primer to anybody interested in learning a range of embroidery styles.

If you cannot find a good range of embroidery materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

Reviews of other titles in the Royal School of Needlework Series

Silk Shading
Bead Embroidery
Raised Embroidery
The RSN Book of Embroidery

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2018