Monday, 13 May 2013

Inspiring Reads: Royal School of Needlework, Embroidery Techniques

Todays inspiring read is more of a 'technical' read than an inspiring one. This particular book comes from the Royal School of Needlework. This school offers a range of courses and qualifications in traditional embroidery techniques. More information about the school's courses can be found here.  The Royal School of Needlework Embroidery Techniques is a paperback instructional manual of four popular embroidery techniques: Silk Shading, Crewel, Blackwork and Goldwork.
Each chapter gives a history of the particular technique, step by step instructions on the basic stitches and then a couple of projects to try out the technique.
I've found this book very useful when deciding on which technique to use for new pieces of work. It's very clear and easy to use as a quick reference guide when needed.

The downside of the book is how old-fashioned it is. The front cover wouldn't entice a modern embroiderer at all. The projects inside also reflect the style of the front cover- for example silk shading is used to create very traditional embroideries of flowers.

It's a shame that the projects haven't been as useful to me as the stitching glossary and also the historical information on each stitching technique.
However, I don't feel that this is too disappointing for me because I always design my own images to stitch so I wouldn't be looking to copy projects anyway. It's nice to read an embroidery book which does appreciate the art of painting with stitches. A lot of modern texts try to keep the embroidery as simple as possible so as to not scare off the beginner but this isn't always useful for the intermediate or experienced embroiderer.

So if you are looking to learn a little more about the history of embroidery and have a comprehensive easy to follow guide to traditional techniques then this the book for you. If you are looking for something simple with cute projects then this isn't the best choice.

You can buy the book here for around £12.

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