Image: Olga Ochkas, First prize winner in the Fashion Category 2020
With over 200 years of experience, British embroidery house Hand & Lock has created embellishment, embroidery and monogramming for the Royal Family, the military and iconic fashion houses including Dior, Hermes and Louis Vuitton. Committed to inspiring the next generation of embroiderers, Hand & Lock have promoted a programme of embroidery education and advancement by creating their annual international embroidery competition ‘The Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery’ and establishing the ‘Hand & Lock School for Embroidery’ which now operates workshops and classes around the world.
Image: Masha Reprintseva, Second prize winner, Fashion Category 2020
The Hand & Lock Prize was first established in 2000 to give new designers interested in embroidery 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 each other’s works. Former winners have gone on to start their own successful businesses, work in the industry for top design houses and even join the in-house team at Hand & Lock. This year the expert judges of the prize include Anthea Godfrey, Jenny King, Karen Nicol, Elizabeth Elvin, Justine Bonenfant, Polly Kenny and, founder of Selvedge Magazine, Polly Leonard.
Image: Rotem Izhaki, First prize winner, Student / Fashion Category 2020
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hand & Lock Prize Exhibition was displayed virtually. This year, all being well, the 2021 prize-giving event and exhibition will be held at the historic Bargehouse in London’s Oxo Tower Wharf, where industry professionals, designers, contemporary art lovers and textile enthusiasts will be able to see the submissions and latest embroidery talent. The exhibition, which will run from 3 – 7 November, will be accompanied by a curated schedule of talks, events and workshops based around the preservation of contemporary embroidered arts and craftsmanship. Attendees will have the opportunity to book onto taster sessions, workshops and hear about how embroidery practitioners are adapting to an increasingly technological and mechanised world. The full schedule of events will be announced in due course.