Prize Judges

Meet the judging panel

How do you judge the finalists and winners of an international embroidery competition? It’s no easy task, first you need to find specialists with embroidery and design expertise, a discerning eye and a passion for emerging design. These individuals must become intimately familiar with the specially written brief and consider each entrant’s embroidery based on their interpretation of the brief and their creative and technical talents.


Our 2024 judging panel is comprised of educators, practitioners and specialists from every sphere of the embroidery universe. They consider the work in progress at the first stage to determine our finalists, and again at the live prize-giving where they judge the completed embroideries. At the live final our judges also have the opportunity to review supporting research materials to form a comprehensive understanding.

Judges might also talk to finalists about their submissions to interrogate techniques, influences and gain a clear understanding of how they arrived at their exhibited work.

Philip Treacy


“Nature is hard to imitate, although I am always inspired by beautiful natural shapes,” Treacy notes. Naomi Campbell for Tatler, 2003 (1)

Exquisite handcrafted sculptural masterpieces showcase the fantastical imagination of this quietly spoken Irishman who, for over 30 years has created couture hats that draw admiration and surprise in equal measure and transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. Treacy has worked with the greatest designers of our age, in 2007, he was awarded with an honorary OBE granted by His Majesty King Charles, for his service to the British fashion industry and he has won the British Fashion Awards title of British Accessory Designer of the Year, five times.

Using the fashion catwalk as his platform around the world to inspire and to challenge people’s perception of the hat. Philip Treacy has worked with many icons such as Her Majesty Queen Camilla, Her Royal Highness Princess of Wales, Lady Gaga, Grace Jones, Madonna, and Kate Moss.

Cathryn Avison

Cathryn Avison

Cathryn Avison has been a significant embroidery designer and maker in the field of film, TV and Theatre for over sixteen years leading a small team of highly talented embroiderers in West Sussex. Projects include Napoleon, Aladdin, The Crown , Bridgerton, Harry Potter and Wicked as well as working for theatre companies around the world.

Before working in film, TV and theatre Cathryn established and ran a highly successful fashion label under her name for twelve years creating simple embroidered pieces. She sold to some of the world’s most prestigious shops including Liberty and Harrods in London, and Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Los Angeles.

Cathryn’s work has featured in three exhibitions at The Victoria and Albert and one of her dress’s is in the museum’s permanent dress collection.

The range of embroidery Cathryn creates is extensive and skilled working on two particularly unique sewing machines, the “Irish” Singer and the Cornely both incredible vintage machines she uses in a contemporary way together with a ever growing use of hand embroidery techniques.

Anthea Godfrey

Anthea Godfrey BW

Anthea Godfrey is the current Artistic Director of the Embroiderer’s Guild and a highly experienced embroiderer and educator. Previous positions have included Principal Lecturer at the London College of Fashion, and Principal of The International School of Creative Arts, London. As a lecturer, she has been invited to speak in France, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Finland, New Zealand, Japan and Kenya. She also has been an examiner for ‘O’ and ‘A’ level, City and Guilds Creative Studies, Diploma in Foundation studies and B.A. Hons Embroidery.

Jenny King

Jenny King BW

Jenny King has an established embroidery studio in Brighton that has been producing high end embroidery for Fashion, theatre, film , interiors and Art for over 20 years . Her studio specialises in the craftsmanship of freehand satin stitch embroidery created on “Irish” Singer 107 machines.

The studio’s luxury fashion brand clients include Erdem, Aspinal of London, Mary Katrantzou, Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford, Roksanda, J W Anderson and Olivia Von Halle. As well as developing embroidery for clients in the fashion industry the studio also works with a number of Theatre, film and costume designers  including  Royal Opera House,  Shakespeare’s Globe, Royal Shakespeare Company and many West End theatre productions.

The studio’s recent bespoke highlights include collaborating with Suzanna London to create the Duchess of Edinburgh’s Coronation gown As well as Sam Ryder’s epic Eurovision Song Contest  jumpsuit for stylist Luke Day.

Jamie Chalmers 

Mr X Stitch - Cat Lane - B&W big

Jamie Chalmers, aka Mr X Stitch, aka the Kingpin of Contemporary Embroidery, took up cross stitching fifteen years ago and he’s never looked back. 

Since establishing the Mr X Stitch website in 2008, he has been showcasing new talent in the world of textiles and stitch and has curated a number of stitch-based exhibitions in the UK and Ireland. Jamie is the curator of PUSH Stitchery and the author of the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch. He is the founder of XStitch, the game-changing cross stitch design magazine which launched in Summer 2017. 

Jamie is an active leader in the online stitch community and what he has dubbed ‘the new embroidery movement’ and is active on various social networking platforms. He loves introducing new people to the benefits of embroidery from a creative and wellbeing standpoint and is proud to be an ambassador for this ubiquitous craft.

Cornelia Parker CBE


Credit: Richard Boll Photographer

Cornelia Parker CBE is one of Britain’s best loved and most acclaimed contemporary artists. Always driven by curiosity, she reconfigures domestic objects to question our relationship with the world. Using transformation, playfulness and storytelling, she engages with important issues of our time, be it violence, ecology or human rights.

Anna Murphy

“Nature is hard to imitate, although I am always inspired by beautiful natural shapes,” Treacy notes. Naomi Campbell for Tatler, 2003 (3)

Anna Murphy joined The Times as Fashion Director in 2015, having been the launch editor of Stella at The Sunday Telegraph. She has interviewed the industry’s biggest names and done everything from wearing a frock made of bin bags to attempting the Angelina leg pop. Her new book Destination Fabulous: Finding Your Way to the Best You Yet interweaves her belief in fashion and beauty as a means of empowerment with advice on everything from work to relationships.

Alastair Macleod

“Nature is hard to imitate, although I am always inspired by beautiful natural shapes,” Treacy notes. Naomi Campbell for Tatler, 2003 (5)

The man behind the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery.  Alastair Macleod, chairman of Hand & Lock, established the Prize for Embroidery in 2000 to promote and encourage art of embroidery. It is now a global competition for aspiring embroidery students and designers, giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents and gain vital exposure and experience.

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