Over the years the RSN Collection has benefited from some very generous donations of embroidery: pieces made in our Studio, individual pieces created by RSN students and historical pieces from all periods.   We’ve also received extensive numbers of books on embroidery and antique needlework tools.

We really appreciate these donations, but if you are considering donating an embroidery or other objects to the RSN please can we ask you to think about the following.  As a charity we have limited storage space and ‘limited’ means it is impossible for us to accept or keep everything that people might wish to give us.  To guide you we have a Collections policy.

Embroideries we will consider accepting

Needlework pieces that are related to the RSN because they:-

a) were worked here
b) were designed and worked here
c) designed on commission for the RSN and worked here
d) worked by an RSN student or staff member
e) are archival materials directly relating to the history of the RSN and the people connected with it

We will also accept some pieces that were not made at the RSN if they meet our criteria for quality technique and represent types of embroidery of which we do not have good examples currently in the collection.

We will usually accept historic samplers and educational stitch pieces. However, we do not generally accept 20th century canvaswork because we already have a number of such pieces in the Collection.

In order for your piece to be considered please send a digital image to [email protected] 

Embroidery books, antique needlework tools, threads, etc

We are happy to receive gifts of antique sewing books, threads, embroidery frames, thimbles, scissors etc on the following basis:-


  • if of use we will place in our library
  • if we already have copies then we will sell the book

Antique Tools etc

May be offered to the Degree Programme, Certificate and Diploma Courses or may be sold if it is something that the students can not make use of.

Threads and materials

The RSN will accept threads and stitching materials. Depending on the quantity and quality these may be used by our Studio,  our students, on our outreach projects or put for sale.

Archive documents

We will happily accept documents, photographs and other materials directly relating to the RSN’s history, unless we already have a number of copies.

Where items are sold, all the proceeds will go to support the RSN’s ongoing work.

If you are considering making a donation to the RSN Collection please contact Claire Worrell in the first instance:

E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)20 3166 6936