RSN = Royal School of Needlework, located at Hampton Court Palace, England.
There is an article in the August/September 2016 magazine "Stitch",
published in England by The Embroiderers' Guild for sale to the public
at some local U.S.-located Barnes & Noble book stores) -- about a school
supported by the Wemyss Clan/family, near Fife Scotland, that has been in
operation since 1877. The founding of this small school that prepared up to
36 local girls per 6-month session for a vocation, was inspired by the
Royal School of Needlework's founding in 1872.
The RSN has always taught needle lace as a part of their curriculum, so I
was interested to see what this very small long-lasting school offers. It
now is mainly individual crewel embroidery workshops, with some Goldwork
and other specialty subjects. Wemyss Castle, and this separate free-standing
school on the Main Street of Coaltown-of-Wemyss (open 3 days per week),
are possible destinations for anyone traveling in Scotland. The website says
they welcome groups - by reservation, as well as individuals.
Why am I writing to lacemakers about Goldwork embroidery? Because of the
variety of metal threads for special effects in both lace and embroidery.
Since lace and embroidery have traveled together on magnificent textiles
through the centuries, they benefit from being thought about together. The
relationship between Goldwork embroidery and gold lace, is reflected in
some of the thousands of needlework books in my private library.
Embroiderers' Guilds around the world have long offered classes using
metal and metallic threads. Their teachers are a good resource for locating
gold threads in various nations. Anyone interested in making gold lace might
like to try a small kit intended for Goldwork embroiderers, since the
materials in quantity are expensive.
An introductory kit prepared by a RSN teacher/book author, Helen McCook,
is available from Wemyss. It would provide exposure to using the threads
and methods that embroiderers use, especially if you would like to learn to
combine the two skills in an item like the Layton Jacket at the Victoria and
Albert Museum. This jacket was reproduced at Plimoth Plantation in
Massachusetts, and has been displayed in the U.S. in recent years. Mostly
embroidery on linen, you will see couched gold thread and gold spangles on
the surface of the fabric. Our member, Devon, made some of the gold
bobbin lace on this jacket. http://www.plimoth.org/jacket
Thus, my suggestion to those of you who favor making metal laces. You'll
find ample opportunities to explore gold embroidery in many nations, and
you can become an ambassador for gold laces to members of any Goldwork
stitching classes you take. Please bring favorite photos of some of the
gold wire laces to such a class. You may recruit new lacemakers, if you
share one of the very best: http://lauransundin.com/
Christmas Shopping for a friend who "has everything"? Check out the shop
Has this information been interesting to you? If you do not write a
response, we do not know!
Jeri Ames in Maine USA
Lace and Embroidery Resource Center
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