NewsRoyal School of Needlework

The Duchess of Cambridge & Royal School of Needlework go back to nature

Degree Students from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Royal School of Needlework (RSN) collaborated with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge to bring her showcase ‘Back to Nature’ garden to life at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival.

The Royal School of Needlework first worked with Her Royal Highness in 2011, creating the bespoke lace on her wedding dress, veil and shoes. For this latest project, the RSN created a hand-embroidered textile by only using compostable materials to complete the surround of a forest den. The hand embroidery techniques of Whitework and Needlelace were a perfect combination to emulate a camouflage style netting and provide magical, dappled light into the den. 

'Forest Den' on display at the HRH The Duchess of Cambridge's 'Back to Nature' Garden

The ethos of the design was to create a piece which employed the traditional skills of hand embroidery combined with the fabrics and materials of the garden. Fine embroidery threads were replaced with jute garden twine, and fine linens and silks replaced with coarse hessian fabrics.  The unique hand embroidered textile artwork was then set over a Birch tree ‘A-frame’ to create the forest den.

Angie Wyman, Course Leader for the RSN Degree in Hand Embroidery said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Duchess of Cambridge again and to be able to showcase the adaptability of needlework. This project was brought to life by RSN staff, Degree and Future Tutor students. It is a perfect example of how RSN students work collaboratively and can successfully apply their design and hand embroidery skills to new contexts and materials.”

The Royal School of Needlework is the international centre of excellence for the art of hand embroidery, offering a range of courses from one-day classes to a three-year BA (Hons) in Hand Embroidery. 

For more information on the course visit the RSN page on the UCA website.

Header image courtesy of © RHS