Meet Kate Barlow, Embroidery Tutor

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Meet Kate Barlow, Embroidery Tutor

Learn more about Kate Barlow who is an embroidery tutor at the Royal School of Needlework.

Skill Level




We will be enjoying some workshops with and from Kate soon, so keep watching.

This is what Kate has to say about herself:


I grew up in North Wales and originally studied costume at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. I was graduating in 2001 with a BA Hons in Theatre Design. Then I worked as a freelance costume maker at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. And later as part of the Touring Wardrobe department at the Welsh National Opera. I have always loved hand embroidery, and got the stitching bug from my Nan at an early age. So in 2013 I decided to take the plunge and re-train as an embroidery tutor at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace.

Also, I graduated from the Future Tutors Programme at the RSN with distinction in 2016. I studied many traditional hand embroidery techniques. This includes goldwork, jacobean crewel work, blackwork, stumpwork and silk shading. In 2015 my Advanced Silk Shaded budgie “Smuggler” was accepted by the Royal Academy of Arts for their annual Summer Exhibition. The piece was also made into a greetings card.

Embroidery skills

In addition, I love to design my own embroidery kits. I use traditional techniques in a contemporary way. Moreover, I like to combine my embroidery with my love of historical dress, creating kits based on original pieces. And my classes cover all levels of ability,  from absolute beginners to more advanced stitchers. And when I’m not involved in freelance projects, I work as a stitcher for the RSN in their commercial studio.

I have taught  for the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace, RSN Bristol, Bath Fashion Museum, at the Williamsburg School of Needlework in the U.S and the RSN 2018 Summer School in Lexington Kentucky. I also teaches for The Craft Sanctuary, Needlework Tours and Cruises, The Alpine Experience and the Crewelwork Company. And I have worked on historical costume reconstructions for St Fagans National Museum of History.


In 2018 I  filmed the RSN online learning course in silk shading and was runner up in The National Needlecraft Awards 2019 Embroidery Designer of the Year category.

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