The Royal School of Needlework is the international centre of excellence for the art of hand embroidery. Founded in 1872, the RSN is steeped in history with unrivalled expertise in the techniques of hand embroidery.

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Tradition. Quality. Innovation.

Based at the magnificent Hampton Court Palace, south-west London, we offer a thriving education programme for everyone from beginner to degree level. We teach Online and Onsite at venues across the UK in Hampton Court Palace (London), Bristol, Rugby, Durham and Glasgow as well as internationally in America and Japan. We teach a variety of Online Day & Evening Classes.

Our renowned Embroidery Studio creates stunning bespoke embroidery commissions for fashion, art and royalty, as well as expertly restoring and conserving valuable and historical embroidered pieces, restoring historical textiles and bringing heirlooms back to life.

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Public Benefit

The work of our staff and students can be seen throughout the country. We loan pieces of our historical collection for public exhibitions and our the restoration work done by our expert Embroidery Studio team can be seen by thousands of people every year at locations such as Dover Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Buckfast Abbey.

RSN Work on Display

Numerous embroideries created by the RSN are on display throughout the UK in stately homes, churches, private homes and public collections.

View some of the pieces on public display.

Workroom of the Royal School of Art Needlework on Exhibition Road c.1903

Our History

The early history of the Royal School of Needlework is linked with the social, cultural and political history of Victorian and Edwardian Britain.

Founded by Lady Victoria Welby, the ‘Royal School of Needlework’ began as the ‘School of Art Needlework’ in 1872 in a small room above a bonnet shop in Sloane Street, London, initially employing 20 ladies, moving in 1903 to a new purpose-built centre on Exhibition Road close to the V&A Museum where, at its peak, the Royal School of Needlework employed around 150 workers.

our trustees at rsn


Our Board of Trustees is run by Chair Pip Wood. The trustees are: Victoria Farrow, Prof. Patsy Cullen, Eleri Lynn, Louisa Christofidou, Julie Richards, Keith Pickard. Prof. Dominic Tweddle, Sarah Mumford, and Dr. Paula Leftwich.

All correspondence for the Trustees should be sent for the attention of RSN CE Dr Susan Kay-Williams:

[email protected] T: +44(0)20 3166 6932

the wall of wool at the rsn embroidery studio

Annual Report

Download our latest annual report.