About the Prize

The Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery

The annual Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery was established in 2000 to promote the fine 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.

In recent years it has been expanded to include textile artists, interior and accessory designers as well as those working in fashion. The competition strives to highlight the exquisite craftsmanship and skill that goes into this intricate craft and bring together the whole embroidery community to celebrate.

Now, the Prize receives hundreds of entries from fashion students and talented embroiderers from all over the world. Former winners have gone on to start their own successful businesses, work in the industry for top design houses and even join the team here at Hand & Lock.

A significant and important part of the London fashion and textile arts calendar, the annual prize-giving event, now draws industry professionals, designers and influencers keen to see the latest embroidery talent.

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 Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery was established in 2000, aspiring to provide passionate and emerging embroiderers with a vital platform to showcase their talents and gain life-changing exposure. We believe that it is fundamental to acknowledge and support contemporary embroidery talent, recognising the importance of craft within today’s culture and society, and solidifying that recognition for future generations to come”
Jessica Pile, Hand & Lock Director

“Over the last two decades the Prize has exhibited over 500 final works and distributed more than $1,000,000 in awards.”

A truly international competition, The Prize receives hundreds of entrants from all over the world. Our finalists and winners hail from the UK to Australia, The USA to Papua New Guinea. 

Each year the Prize opens with an online registration followed by a two month window when entrants can upload evidence of their work. Each entrant is encouraged to follow a specially written brief and, if selected for the second round, work with a mentor to perfect their submission in time for a final live judging event.

Each year The Prize culminates in a final prize-giving that has grown from a small evening event held at the Hand & Lock studio, into a pop up exhibition and awards ceremony. It is a respected industry gathering, with hundreds of visitors coming to see embroidery by the best emerging designers from around the world.

An esteemed independent judging panel of industry professionals choose from the 24 finalists to reveal the winners at the prize-giving during the final days of the exhibition.

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.