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Researching at Kensington Palace

Posted by on Jun 22, 2012 in FAD Workshops, Heritage | No Comments

The New East London Embroiderers Project, or NELE as we like to call it, got off to a flying start with a packed research day for our young volunteers at Kensington Palace.

Fifteen young people aged 18 – 25 years old spent a day with the FAD team at one of London’s most historic venues, putting together research and taking inspiration from the Palace’s amazing archive of heritage court costumes and traditional English embroidery.

Sketching inside the Palace

An embroidered jacket worn by Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband

The day began with a presentation on the history of embroidery in royal court dress from Jenny Wedgebury, Education Officer at Kensington Palace. Afterwards the volunteer stitchers, armed with sketchbooks and cameras, disappeared into the many rooms in the palace to find motifs and examples of heritage embroidery that could be used in the NELE workshops.

An embroidered capelet belonging to Queen Victoria

Drawing the Palace’s Mantua dresses – worn in court in the 18th Century

Getting a closer look at the ‘handling’ collection – dating back over 300 years

The volunteers returned to the education centre in the afternoon to spend some time looking at the Palace’s handling collection, which is full of amazing examples of heritage embroidery from 18th Century embroidered corsets and1920’s beaded dresses, to Victorian white work capelets and caps.

The day also included a session on leadership skills, to help the young volunteers have the know how and confidence to pass on their embroidery skills to other people.

See how our young stitchers get on in the next session, when they put some embroidery techniques into practice with the help of embroidery expert, Anthea Godfrey.

Follow @fadcharity #NewEastLondonEmbroiderers on twitter for the latest project news.