Prize Submission Guidelines

What you need to supply at each stage of the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery

Where to start?

If you have never entered the Hand & Lock Prize before you might be unsure how it works and what you should be working towards. This page is designed to give you a better understanding of how you should proceed if you want to impress the judges and win the top prize.

Please see below for information about what to make for your designated category and what to submit for each stage of the judging process.

More information can be found on our Prize FAQs page.

If you entered...

The Fashion Category

Study the brief and start designing and making an embroidered garment based on your interpretation.

2023 Brief

The Fashion category is for anyone who has incorporated embroidery into a fashion look. Fashion entrants should design a fashion garment that takes inspiration from the prize brief. Your submission should be an entire outfit, you may have one standout piece but please consider the full look.

Your submission should showcase your design skill as well as your ability to embroider. Judges will look at your concept, execution, construction, embroidery skill and overall presentation.



Again please note, you will be required to enter one full outfit. (All types of hand embroidery, hand-guided machine embroidery and digital embroidery will be accepted).

If you entered...

The Textile Art Category

Study the brief and start designing and making an embroidery based on your interpretation.

2023 Brief

The Textile Art category allows entrants to enter any piece of embroidery that falls under the textile art remit. Textile Art entrants should design an art piece or object that takes inspiration from the prize brief. We welcome submissions of jewellery, interior design, fashion accessories, art installations and more.

If your piece incorporates embroidery and isn’t a fashion look, we want to see it. However, please do not submit samples and swatches. Your submission must be a fully-rendered object showcasing your design and embroidery skill. Judges will be looking for originality, embroidery technique, execution and overall presentation.

Again please note, you will be required to enter one completed art work/object. (All types of hand embroidery, hand-guided machine embroidery and digital embroidery will be accepted).

Submission Guidelines for the First Round of Judging

For the first round entrants should only submit images. These images should convey a combination of your overall vision, your design journey, your research and include fine details. If your submission is incomplete, images of your work in progress and a rendering of your overall scheme can be submitted.

Our judges will use these images to asses your embroidery vision and how you have chosen to interpret the brief. Judges will look for evidence of your inventive and original interpretation, as well as your technical ability and overall design.

For the first round you will be asked to upload six images. These images should meet the following criteria:

– Three research images (Comprising  of concept or mood board and embroidery samples).

– Three images of your embroidered Textile art or fashion piece (If final design is not complete, then please provide images/designs of how the final piece is expected to look).

– Your images should demonstrate that you have followed the specially written brief.

– Your images should not be doctored obscuring your overall design vision or your embroidery skill.

– Your submission should be accompanied by up to 200 words describing your overall concept along with techniques and materials used.

Examples of research images

Mood Board by Yue Chen - 2021 finalist
Creative Process by Yue Chen - 2021 finalist

Submission Guidelines for the Second Round of Judging

If you are selected by the judges to go on to the second, and final round, only then will you need to send your physical work to Hand & Lock. Your piece will be photographed and then exhibited at a live public event. As such, your physical submission must meet the following criteria:

– If submitting for the Textile Art category you may submit any embroidered object that is not considered a fashion outfit. This includes, but is not limited to, jewellery, fashion accessories, interior design, art-works and sculpture.

– If easily prone to damage or especially delicate please supply adequate packaging and a sturdy container.

– If submitting a fashion garment please ensure that you submit one full outfit (designed to be worn by a model/mannequin).

– If submitting a fashion garment, your submission should showcase your design and embroidery skill.

How your work might be photographed and exhibited

Embroidered Arts Exhibition and Prize Giving Ceremony 2021 at Oxo Tower, Bargehouse.
Winner of the Fashion Open Category, Heyday by Tatiana Rodina
3rd Place Winner of the Textile Open Category 2021, Sentient by Sabina De Oliveira Lima
Embroidered Arts Exhibition 2021
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