Karen Nicol: A Fascinating Journey

Karen Nicol: A Fascinating Journey

Karen Nicol in her studio (left); Tattooed Bear Rug for Anthropologie Stores (USA).

Sometimes life presents an opportunity to meet someone through a work-related project. If you are lucky, there’s a kind of chemistry and camaraderie which evolves in the process, and the project takes on a greater sense of meaning and purpose.

Meeting Karen Nicol at the offices of the Embroiderers’ Guild was one of those opportunities.

Karen is a British-born fashion designer and embroiderer who has developed her own unique style of embroidery. Unsatisfied by the traditional stitches and outcomes and feeling disconnected from the usual ladies’ social stitch clubs, Karen set off on her own after finishing college in London to Paris, France with a simple objective: apply what she had learned to the world of embroidery for fashion and apparel.


Karen’s journey has taken her from commissions by the King of Qatar to fashion runways in Paris and Milan.  In the US we find her work available as a line of her own products for the store Anthropologie.

Ursine Rug by Karen Nicol for Anthropologie.

Karen is the 2015 Beryl Dean Award recipient as granted by the British Embroiderers’ Guild, the UK’s largest craft association and publisher of Embroidery Magazine. She was presented with the award at a special ceremony in the catacombs of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, England. 

Interior and Organ of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. Image courtesy Wikipedia
‘Last Straw’ Wall Embroidery by Karen Nicol
“Collaboration is really important as an artist because it takes you out of your comfort zone”, Karen says in the film documentary about her work.  

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