The Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery was established in 2000, aspiring to provide passionate & emerging embroiderers a vital platform to showcase their talents and gain life-changing exposure. We believe that it is fundamental to acknowledge and support our contemporary embroidery talent, recognising the importance of craft within today’s culture and society, and solidifying that recognition for future generations to come.
“Hand & Lock are proud to have played a role in promoting and nurturing the next generation of embroiderers.”
The Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery has become an integral part of the Hand & Lock Atelier, it requires a dedicated team working year round to ensure that all entrants are fairly represented in the two stages of judging during the competition. We are constantly seeking new ways to improve the competition and provide the best opportunities and exposure to the finalists. The Prize has developed significantly from its initial inception in 2000, which saw just five entries in a single Fashion category open to students. Today the Prize is proud to offer categories in both Fashion and Textile Arts, with each category offering a student entry and an open entry allowing graduates and design professionals to also take part in the competition. It receives hundreds of entrants each year and is able to offer industry exposure for the finalists that is invaluable for their career. Entries come from all over the world, from the UK to Australia to Papua New Guinea.
The development of the Prize has also seen the introduction of the Mentorship Programme, pairing up each finalist with an industry professional who helps support and develop their mentee’s final concept in line with the specially written brief. This has been hugely successful for the finalists who are able to seek advice from a professional and build valuable relationships which extend on past the Prize.
The annual Prize culminates in a final exclusive prize-giving and biennale Embroidered Arts exhibition. The events have grown from initially a small evening event held at the Hand & Lock studio, into a four day public exhibition and awards ceremony. It is now deemed as a respected industry gathering, with hundreds of visitors coming to see embroidery from the best emerging designers from around the world.
Winners and runners up have gone on to start their own businesses, teach the next generation, or work for designers such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Mary Katrantzou and Richard Quinn. Hand & Lock are proud to have played a role in promoting and nurturing the next generation of embroiderers.
As an annual non-profit competition, the Prize relies on donations from sponsors to facilitate the year long programme and put together the exhibition and prize-giving event. Sponsors have included Liberty of London, Swarovski and Royal School of Needlework, and their invaluable contribution helps fund the running of the Prize and provide awards for the winners and runners up. Without the support of sponsors, Hand & Lock would not be able to host the annual Prize for Embroidery and this vital showcase for emerging embroiderers would be lost.
“Over the last two decades the Prize has exhibited over 500 final works and distributed more than $1,000,000 in awards.”
The kind support and generosity of our sponsors is pivotal to the success of the Prize. For the past twenty years the Hand & Lock Atelier has mainly funded the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery and it’s huge prize fund which is awarded to the winners each year. In recent years, we have been able to introduce industry sponsored ‘Associate Awards’ to recognise specific skills and practises related to the partner organisation. As we expand the Prize and it’s worldwide reach, we are seeking the help of sponsors to drive this growth and gain benefit from the prominence and significance of the event.
Sponsorships can help free up valuable time and resources to focus on extending the scope of the Prize and maximize the rewards for our winners. Support can either fund the general running of the Prize or be specific to the November final or biennale Embroidered Arts exhibition. Sponsorship is an invaluable opportunity to connect with influential figures across fashion and textile arts. The final prize-giving event is a respected industry gathering and we rely on specialists to provide technical event equipment, catering, staging and event dressing, refreshments etc.
Sponsorship can help fund the year long Prize process which involves university visits, communication and administration of hundreds of entrants from all around the globe and the organisation of mentors and judges, along with the sponsorship of the biennale Embroidered Arts public exhibition.
''Since inception of the Hand and Lock Prizes no event has equaled the magnitude of this celebration of embroidery.''