The Royal School of Needlework is probably the quintessential school for aspiring professional needleworkers. For the average beginner or advanced embroiderer who isn’t seeking a career in needle art, the Royal School of Needlework is still a great source for personal education.
Sally Saunders’s book, Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques, is a great addition to any needleworker’s library. It’s another one of those perfect “coffee table books” that will fascinate anyone, whether they embroider or not.
The book begins, as all good neelework books do, with the essential information about setting up an embroidery project: tools, fabrics, threads, frames – everything is covered in the first two chapters.
The book is then divided into four sections: silk shading, crewel work, blackwork, and goldwork. Instructions for each of the above techniques are covered clearly and are illustrated by gorgeous examples of finished work. The author supplies designs for practice or for major projects, beginning with basics and advancing to complex work.
In each section, the reader receives practical tips on each of the projects presented, with all the techniques for finish work included.
An illustrated stitch glossary occupies the last section of the book, so that even the beginner can see clearly how to accomplish even the most complex projects in the book. Certainly, some of the projects are not for beginners! But don’t let that deter you – the various grades of complexity make the whole book a real treasure.
My favorite section of the book is the part on goldwork. As this great art enjoys a revival these days, it’s wonderful to have a source of inspiration and instruction as detailed as this chapter.
If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the aspiring needle artist in your life, I don’t think you could go wrong with this book!