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Which Course Should I Take?

For anyone new to hand embroidery, we would advise commencing with the Introduction to Jacobean Crewelwork Course.

Crewelwork uses crewel wool which is thicker and easier to handle than fine threads used in other techniques. It also features a range of stitches and colours which offer an excellent starting point in hand embroidery.

If you enjoy cross stitch, then you could also start with either Blackwork or Canvaswork as these combine a counting technique. Blackwork features continuous patterns to give the ability to shade from dark to light. Canvaswork covers the entire background of a piece with a variety of counted textural stitches.

Following at least two of the above courses, we would then recommend learning any of the other techniques - Silk Shading, Goldwork and Whitework.

All courses:

Introduction to Jacobean Crewelwork
Jacobean Crewelwork is a traditional embroidery technique that the RSN teaches as a first step because you can learn many different stitches. This course will give you a good grounding in hand embroidery before moving on to more complex techniques.

Introduction to Blackwork
Blackwork embroidery dates back to the 16th century when it was used to embellish fine clothes, but this RSN beginners Blackwork course will teach you how to create a striking puffin design using traditional stitches combined with more modern techniques to create tone and texture.

Introduction to Goldwork
Goldwork is a traditional technique that uses a sewing thread to hold metal threads on the surface of the fabric, making it a unique style of embroidery. With a variety of textures of metal, you will create an eye-catching flower design using a range of interesting Goldwork techniques.

Introduction to Whitework
Whitework is a traditional hand embroidery technique that features white thread on a white background. Often used on bridal and christening gowns, Whitework has a timeless elegance and requires a range of skills.

Introduction to Silk Shading
Silk Shading is a beautiful technique that uses long and short stitches to create realistic colour blending and is often referred to as painting with thread.

Introduction to Canvaswork
With origins in medieval times, Canvaswork became popular in the late 16th century when it was used for seat covers and rugs. Today, we use Canvaswork to create realistic embroidery pieces using a range of stitches for texture and depth, and colour blending to achieve a lifelike effect.