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It is with regret that we have been obliged to postpone our USA Summer School which was due to take place in July, 2020. This big event will be rescheduled to 2021. Additional information will be made available shortly.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) — Current Information


We’re excited to share the classes that will be available during the RSN USA Summer School in Lexington, Kentucky, USA 2020!

There will be two back-to-back weeks from Sunday 12th July until Sunday 25th July 2020, so you can choose the week that suits you best. Each week consists of a choice of either our ‘full‘ session (which includes one three-day class, Mon-Wed, and one two-day class, Thurs-Fri) or our new ‘short‘ session (which includes two two-day classes, Thurs-Fri and Sat-Sun). In week one only there is an alternative option of one five-day class. View session and itinerary details.

When booking, after first selecting your preferred week and session, you will be able to select which of the following classes you wish to attend from those available for your chosen session.


Class Details and Availability


Five-Day Classes — Mon-Fri (Full Session, Week One only)

Silk Shading & Goldwork: 'Ely Knot' — Mixed Ability — *SOLD OUT*

This class is now SOLD OUT.

Please note that this class is only available in Week One (13-18 July 2020).

RSN Tutor Helen Richman’s five-day class is inspired by the knot designs on a 14th century cope from Ely Cathedral. Helen was commissioned to replicate these for the For Worship & Glory exhibition, which featured many ecclesiastical pieces.

Students of this class will create the piece, which demonstrates what the embroidery would have looked like when it was first made.

Five-day Silk and Goldwork class by Helen Richman

Three-Day Classes — Mon-Wed (Full Sessions)

Raised Embroidery: 'Apple Tree' — Mixed Ability

Join RSN Tutor Amy Burt to stitch this apple tree inspired by Raised Work trees shown on early examples of historical embroidered caskets.

You will learn traditional stitches such as Needlelace, Detached Leaves, Ribbon Wrapped Beads, Raised Leaf Stitch and Raised Stem band.

Silk Shading: 'Viola' — Mixed Ability

If Silk Shading is one of your favourites, RSN Tutor Sara-Jane Dennis’ delicate Viola will fit the bill, as you will also receive a lot of technical knowledge before you even begin to stitch!

You will discuss design: a colour drawing, a shaded drawing, a stitch direction and an order of work before starting to stitch; ensuring a good result. Then you will create a beautiful viola, using an image taken from the Royal School of Needlework Archive.

Silk Shading & Goldwork 'Border Hearts Inspired by 1600s Gauntlet Gloves' — Mixed Ability — LIMITED PLACES

There is only ONE PLACE left on this class for WEEK ONE. Places are available for WEEK TWO.

This design by RSN Tutor Deborah Wilding is based on a 1600s man’s gauntlet glove embroidered with design of fruits and flower-head, a phoenix rising from the ashes and a masked face worked in coloured silks and threads, edged with long metal thread fringing.

The glove features in the exhibition A History of Fashion in 100 Objects at the Fashion Museum Bath and are part of The Glove Collection of the Worshipful Company of Glovers of London.

The techniques covered will include Padded Satin Stitch, Stem Stitch, Long and Short shading as well as Metal Thread Work including Couching, Cutwork and the application of Pearl Purl, Spangles and Chips.

Three-day Silk and Goldwork class by Deborah Wilding

Raised Embroidery: 'Summer Strawberries' — Mixed Ability

This charming Tudor-inspired image of ripening strawberries by RSN Tutor Chrissie Juno Mann is inspired by a Tudor painting and is worked in Raised Embroidery techniques.

Various padded areas are used to create the 3D effect with the fruit, flowers and leaves. The design is finished off with a touch of Goldwork to create an appealing image for you to enjoy next summer.

Introduction to Tambour: 'Fashion Swatches' — Beginner — *SOLD OUT (WEEK ONE)*

This class is now SOLD OUT for WEEK ONE. Places are available for WEEK TWO.

Feathers, crystals and beads are just a few of the most fundamental elements in any fashion embroidery and this three day class with RSN Tutor Sara Rickards, aimed at beginners, will teach you the basics of how to embellish your clothes with all three.

On the first day you will learn and practice the basics of tambour beading, how to start and finish your thread, how to work the basic chain stitch and how to apply beads. This will form the foundation of the first beaded fashion swatch which is worked on a black silk organza and embellished with gold beads, pink sequins and Swarovski Crystals.

Tambour beading, once mastered is a quick method of applying beads and sequins. Used widely within the fashion industry to create the glamorous gowns you see on the red carpet, this addictive technique will have you wanting to embellish everything you own with beads and sequins.

On the second day you will begin to apply the base layer of tambour beading and learn how to apply beads, sequins and crystals by hand to form beaded flowers. You will also get the chance to design and experiment with your own beaded motifs if you wish.

The third day is spent learning the basics of how to apply feathers onto a red silk organza and embellishing with Swarovski Crystals.

Silk Shading & Laid Work: 'Little Vintage Teacup' — Intermediate/Advanced

RSN Tutor Kate Barlow’s pretty vintage teacup and saucer is created using Silk Shading, Laid Work and Trellis in shades of blue, with little silk shaded flowers decorating the cup.

The edges are gilded with Couched Smooth Passing Thread and Gilt Pearl Purl, and tiny spangles are added for a bit of extra twinkle.

Silk Shading & Raised Embroidery: 'Flamingo' — Mixed Ability

Learn the traditional Silk Shading technique by working this beautiful flamingo with RSN Tutor Zinaida Kazban.

Zinaida will show you how to embroider with two hands, using a few embroidery needles at the same time to speed up your work. Following her step-by-step instructions, you will practice creating blended and smooth shading, and study Split Stitch, as well as Long and Short Stitch.

Silk Shading 'Feather' — Mixed Ability

This in depth Silk Shading class with RSN Tutor Jen Goodwin will be focusing on capturing the details of a beautiful black cockatoo tail feather.

This design allows the rich blacks and browns to be explored, challenging colours when worked into a Silk Shaded piece.

Opus Anglicanum Mermaid — Advanced

Due to the huge demand for classes following the recent exhibition at the V&A Museum, Helen McCook teaches students how to tackle the techniques utilised most often in Opus Anglicanum by creating a mermaid inspired directly from the breathtaking Fishmongers Pall.

You will learn to shade with split stitch to create an expressive body form, create shading and depth with Or Nue and form stunning patterns implementing underside couching.

A must do for anyone interested in embroidery, history or both!

Opus Anglicanum Mermaid with Helen McCook

Crewelwork: 'Bird of Paradise' — Mixed Ability (Week Two Only) — *SOLD OUT*

This class is now SOLD OUT.

Please note that this class is only available as a choice in the Week Two packages and itinerary. This class is NOT available in Week One.

Learn the traditional hand embroidery technique of Crewelwork to create a beautiful Bird of Paradise design.

The class with Helen Richman will introduce you to many of the stitches and techniques which are essential in the art of Crewelwork embroidery including: Split Stitch, Seeding Stitch, Trellis Stitch and French Knots.


Two-Day Classes — Thurs-Fri (Full and Short Sessions)

Appliqué Butterfly: 'Inspired by Maria Sybila Merian' — Mixed Ability

Stitch RSN Tutor Helen McCook’s Appliqué and Surface stitched Butterfly inspired by the exquisite art works of Maria Sybilla Merian.

This piece was originally designed to accompany the exhibition of Merian’s work at the Queen’s Gallery at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh and will now make its American début.

Intermediate Raised Embroidery: 'Flamingo' — Intermediate — LIMITED PLACES

There is only ONE PLACE left on this class for WEEK ONE. Places are available for WEEK TWO.

Raised Embroidery uses an array of different materials and techniques to create raised and three dimensional elements. Designs can be varied and imaginative, offering scope for a high degree of creativity.

Students in RSN Tuor Sara Rickards’ class will learn basic felt padding and how to apply a silk fabric to their background base fabric, how to work a double Brussels Needlelace Stitch, how to work a wired shape, cut out and apply the wired shape. Students will also learn how to apply Pearl Purl, Chips and Couch Passing.

17th Century Stitches — Intermediate

RSN Tutor Kate Barlow’s class is a little different. Teaching students traditional 17th Century Stitches, it is inspired by a Stumpwork panel from the RSN’s unique Collection. This design is inspired by an original 17th century Raised Work panel in the RSN Collection.

In the class, you will learn four main stitches that were commonly used at this time – looped silk wrapped purl, corded buttonhole needlelace, over twisted mosse stitch and cut silk pile. It is worked on a silk satin fabric using silk threads and gilt passing thread.

Intro to Ribbon Embroidery & Silk Shading: ‘Strawberry & Clover Posy’ — Mixed Ability

RSN Tutor Zinaida Kazban returns this year to teach her charming Ribbon Embroidery and Silk Shading Strawberries. Practice natural shading with cotton threads on strawberry leaves, then create life-like flowers using silk ribbons.

You will learn fundamental principles and stitches for Silk Shading and also make padded strawberries using felt and embellishing its surface stitches.

Crewelwork: 'Abigail Oak Tree' — Mixed Ability

Crewelwork is a technique which gives students an opportunity to learn a range of stitches. Using two main colours in tonal shades, Jacobean Crewelwork has been popular for centuries and also works well with contemporary designs.

During the two day class you will be working with RSN Tutor Chrissie Juno Mann on this charming oak tree design.

The inspiration for this class came from an original bed hanging from the V&A by Abigail Pett (see below).

Introduction to Ribbonwork: ‘Floral Monogram’ — Beginner

This class is a great introduction to the art of Ribbon Embroidery, a technique which can lend itself to creating images as well as decorating clothing and accessories.

On this two day class, RSN Tutor Heather Lewis will take you through the steps to create this wonderful personalised monogram surrounded by a ring of silk flowers.

Two-day Ribbonwork class by Heather Lewis

Intermediate Blackwork & Goldwork: ‘Tudor Rose’ — Intermediate

Taking inspiration from a cap in the V&A,  RSN Tutor Amy Burt has designed a Tudor Rose in Blackwork, with a contemporary twist.

On Day One the class will focus on traditional Blackwork stitches using stranded cottons and metallic threads. The second day will focus purely on the Elizabethan plaited braid which is a challenging but rewarding stitch.

Intermediate Surface Stitch & Goldwork: 'Beetle’ — Intermediate

By the end of this two-day class you will have become acquainted with a number of intermediate stitches whilst creating a beautiful Goldwork beetle with RSN Tutor Sara-Jane Dennis.

Using Japanese thread, pearl purl, chipping and rococo, students will experiment with various surface stitches including Trailing, Silk Shading, Satin Stitch, French knots, Heavy Chain Stitch, Pekinese Stitch and Turkey Rug.

Blackwork in Colour: ‘Colour Wheel’ — Mixed Ability — *SOLD OUT*

This class is now SOLD OUT.

Experience an in-depth analysis into embroidered colour theory, and a hands on approach to experimenting with Blackwork stitch transitions with RSN Tutor Jen Goodwin. Use what you will learn to create some very aesthetically pleasing embroideries in the future!

This class is a fun approach to adding colour into Blackwork by combining the theory of colour along with the theory of transitioning between different stitches.

The colour wheel demonstrates how colours run into one another and the inclusion of tint, tone and shade bands explore how white, grey and black affect the colour palette.

Coronation Gold: ‘Peace & Plenty’ — Intermediate

RSN Tutor Sarah de Rousset-Hall’s class is inspired by Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation Robe, stitched by the RSN studio in 1953 with the theme of Peace and Plenty.

Students will cover several of the techniques used on the coronation robe including Cutwork, Chipping, Couching and Appliqué, as well as the associated padding techniques to create a three-dimensional effect.

Raised Embroidery: 'Swan' — Mixed Ability (Week Two only) — *SOLD OUT*

This class is now SOLD OUT.

Please note that this class is only available as a choice in the Week Two packages and itinerary. This class is NOT available in Week One.

This two-day course by Helen Richman will introduce students to a variety of Raised Embroidery stitches and techniques which will be used to create this beautiful swan design in delicate shades of white, cream and grey. Finish off with beads and pearls, and water ripples in Padded Buttonhole Stitch.

Jacobean Crewelwork: 'Curly Leaf' — Mixed Ability

This kit is inspired by traditional 17th Century Jacobean crewel work. It is worked in Appletons crewel wools onto sturdy natural coloured linen twill fabric.

The design features the hillocks, tree of life and stylised leaves and fruit which are so central to the Jacobean style.

In this two-day class with Helen McCook you will learn a wide range of stitches, which include: Buttonhole, Fly Stitch, Seeding, Chain Stitch, Coral Stitch, Trellis, Satin Stitch,  to name just a few. This design fits into a ten inch ring frame.

This class would be ideal for people who are new to Jacobean crewel work or for those who would like to improve their technique whilst surface stitching.

Jacobean Crewelwork: 'Curly Leaf' by Helen McCook

Two-Day Classes — Sat-Sun ('Short' Sessions only)

'Goldwork Acorn & Oak' — Mixed Ability — LIMITED PLACES

There is only ONE PLACE left on this class for WEEK TWO.  Places are still available for WEEK ONE.

Please note that this class is only available as a weekend-class choice in the ‘Short Sessions’ package and itinerary.

Inspired by the Queen Mother’s Coronation robe, this beautiful oak leaf and acorns design by RSN Tutor Heather Lewis is embroidered using several Goldwork techniques including Felt Padding, Couching gold wrapped threads, stitching down plate and applying purls in a technique known as s’ing. Like the coronation robes, the design is worked on plush velvet.

Blackwork in Colour: 'Sailing Boat' — Mixed Ability

Please note that this class is only available as a weekend-class choice in the ‘Short Sessions’ package and itinerary.

Learn to stitch a Blackwork Sailing boat with RSN Tutor Jessica Ingram.

This piece is inspired by the Dutch Delftware tiles of the early 17th Century. The tiles usually depict motifs of animals, sea creatures, flowers, and mythological beasts, as well as rural or costal scenes of everyday life, featuring farm labourers, windmills, fishermen and sailing boats. The tiles were often used to brighten fireplaces, or to decorate bathing rooms or kitchens. Worked in blue glaze on a white background, the tiles echoed the Chinese porcelain being imported by the Dutch East India Company at the time.

This very distinctive style is perfect for translating into shaded Blackwork. Worked in blue threads, with a touch of gold, students will create shading by breaking down stitches and working with different threads, as well as learning a variety of surface stitches such as Stem Stitch, Backstitch, Couching, Chain Stitch and French Knots.