Hand and Lock Visit

Ten of us from our group took the train up to London to visit Hand and Lock who have been producing fine embroidery for royalty and celebrities since 1767. We were taken into the ‘BeadRoom’ where two of the embroiderers told us about their work and how they came to be embroiderers for Hand and Lock.

Some interesting facts from our tour:

*Military uniforms for royalty are made with real gold braid (2% gold) film set uniforms use fake gold.

* When making a uniform like the one modelled by Susie, individual pieces are embroidered, it is then made up by a tailor then the embroidery is finished.

*Hand and Lock did much of the embroidery for the coronation but sadly they were not mentioned on the programme about the coronation tailors. They worked on Penny Mordant’s fabulous sea green coat, Queen Camilla’s shoes and 52 goldwork flags for Burberry’s flagship stores and the Household Cavalry uniforms.

* They work with skilled embroiderers in India who are mostly men. * They also do lots of machine embroidery for many other clients.

* They run loads of different embroidery courses on line. Check out their website.

Detail of the butterfly

The following photos give you a taster of the embroidery we saw.

Goldwork insects. Online courses are available to teach you to embroider these.
One of the machines used for the machine embroidery
Intricate embroidery on Tulle
Fascinated by our talk
Our group
When making a uniform like this the panels are embroidered separately then sewn together by the tailor. The embroidery is then completed over the seams. A hand embroidered coat such as this can take a year to make from start to finish and cost £50,000.
Inspecting the amazing work
Dinner at the end of a great day after fabric shopping at Macolloch and Wallis and Liberty’s.
Machine embroidered uniforms used in the film industry
An epaulette made from coils of gold wire
Susie modeling one of the embroidered uniforms
A chart of all the gold threads available to purchase
Machine embroiderd piece
Details of the dragonfly