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Animals to stampede through The Royal School of Needlework

By Mark Hayhurst 31 Jan 2018

The Royal School of Needlework will be bringing a menagerie of animals to its base at Hampton Court Palace.

From a wild tiger and flamboyant flamingo to cute dogs and a peckish chipmunk, it will be a zoo showcase! But don’t worry, although all the animals look amazingly realistic, they have been brought to life with the art of hand embroidery!

The brand new exhibition, Animals in Embroidery, opens on April 18. It will feature a ‘parade’ of over 80 different hand embroidery animals, showcasing a ‘flock’ of different techniques from Silk Shading and Blackwork to Goldwork and Jacobean Crewelwork. All the work on display will be from the RSN’s talented students, including current and past students on the RSN’s Certificate & Diploma, Degree Course and Future Tutors programme. The exhibition will also feature pieces from the RSN’s Archive Collection.

Dr Susan Kay-Williams, Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework and Curator of the new exhibition said: “After flowers, one of the most popular subjects for embroidery is animals. The pieces in the exhibition are worked in many different techniques, but especially in Silk Shading which focuses on achieving the most life-like rendition. Whilst many hand embroidery techniques in the exhibition demonstrate a realistic interpretation of a chosen animal, look out for the mythical aspects of Jacobean Crewelwork where the size and scale are less important as large birds perch on tiny branches and insects reach epic proportions. The animals, insects and birds represented will include the familiar and fantastical!”

The exhibition runs until December 2018.

To book your place and view the RSN’s ‘roaring’ new Animals in Embroidery exhibition, visit their

website or email:

The exhibition is in the RSN’s Embroidery Studios at Hampton Court Palace and only open on set days, so pre-booking is essential.

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