The Ailist – Issue Nineteen – Duchess of Cornwall

Ailish Henderson shares her view on the world of embroidery - it's the Ailist!

Duchess of Cornwall Special Edition

When we were given the information about the new Royal School of Needlework exhibition, we just had to write about it.

The exhibition entitled Faces & Figures in Stitch opened on the 24th of September and closes March 19 2020 – plenty of time of go and check it out!

Emma Doggart who is involved with the project told us:

‘100 embroideries, including key figures in history and familiar faces of today such as Henry VIII, William Shakespeare, Nelson Mandela and David Bowie.  The additional pieces on display are by RSN’s Students and from the RSN’s unique Textile Collection.’
Yet there is one particular piece getting more than the usual attention – why?

Imagine the nerves of all the staff at the RSN, when The Duchess of Cornwall visited to see her very own self – in stitches, namely a technique called blackwork.  This actually took place early last month, September the 5th.

the royal duchess of cornwall at the RSN
The Royal Duchess holding her self – in stitched form at the RSN

For those who are less aware of the technique used to create this piece, Doggart gives an explanation:

blackwork is a form of tonal needlework using just one colour of thread to create different  geometric patterns and stitches.  The RSN Embroidery Studio stitched the dress in
inverted Waffle; the face and neck in expanded Octagonal Square and the hair was a combination of interlocking Z’s and Zigzag stitch.  The textures and shading were created by using different thicknesses of threads.’

Personally, I thought what was nice about the whole event, was the connection with The Duchess and the Royal School of Needlework setting.  The image used as a basis to embroider was one of The Duchess, taken when visiting the RSN in 2017.  So it was a memory as well as a portrait – one I am sure the whole Royal School of Needlework was very proud of.

Why not take a visit yourself to see The Duchess of Cornwall?  Find out more information right here.

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