About the Prize - HAND & LOCK

IMG_5324Hand & Lock, the 247 year old embroidery atelier to European fashion houses, the British Military and The Royal Family has been running the prestigious embroidery prize since 2000 and now offers a prize fund in excess of $26,000.

The Prize is an invaluable opportunity for new designers to showcase their finest creations and potentially win a share of a life changing prize fund. Previous Prize winners have been able to fund their designs, start their own businesses and go on to have great success.

Each year the brief, promotional posters and flyers are distributed to over 1000 colleges and universities throughout the world. The deadline for round one entries is the end of June when a final twelve entrants are paired with industry mentors before submitting final completed work for the Prize giving ceremony in November. The Prizegiving ceremony is held at the historic Bishopsgate institute and is a celebration of international fashion embroidery.

The Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery commenced life in 2000. Initially aimed at students, in 2009, an open category was added to great success. Originally conceived by Chairman Alastair Macleod as a way of encouraging embroidery use in fashion and textiles, the Prize now welcomes in excess of 500 entries annually.

How to Enter /  The 2016 Brief  / 2014 Winners /  Sponsors / FAQs

2016 Prize Categories

Fashion: Fashion entrants should design a fashion garment that takes inspiration from the Prize brief. Your submission should be constructed to fit a typical model (UK size 6 to 8) and showcase your design skill as well as your ability to embroider by hand. Judges will look at your concept, execution, construction, embroidery skill and overall presentation.

Textiles: Textile entrants should examine the brief and produce an object that showcases their embroidery skills. the object could be a piece of jewellery, an artistic sculpture, an embroidered tapestries, a piece for home interior design etc. Judges will look at originality, embroidery technique, execution, construction and overall presentation.

Mentoring Programme

Selected finalists get the opportunity to work closely with an industry expert and develop their designs ahead of the final live judging as part of the Hand & Lock Mentoring Programme. The programme was developed to give finalists an opportunity to seek guidance and advice through the Prize process and as they try to establish themselves in the industry. Previous years’ finalists have gone on to work together and form lasting mutually beneficial working relationships.

Previous mentors have included Zandra Rhodes, Hasan Hejazi, Carol Alayne and Diana Springall

If you are interested in becoming a Prize mentor please contact us at Prize@handembroidery.com


Liberty | Wilcom | GSWDRoyal School of Needlework | University of the Arts London | Mr X Stitch | Alice Made This

If you are interested in becoming a Prize sponsor please contact us at Prize@handembroidery.com

Special Awards

The Wilcom Institutional Prize is awarded to the University or College that has the highest number of student entrants to the Prize. The educational institution is awarded £6000 of embroidery software along with training and support. The Famous London department store Liberty is well known for it’s collection of vibrant iconic fabrics. The Liberty Art Fabric Award is given to the overall student winner. The Gold Silver Wire Drawer Award goes to a Round One entrant whose work may not qualify for the final 12 but whose use of metallic thread and bullions deserves recognition. The winning entrant will be invited to the Prizegiving with their entry to form part of a special display highlighting metallic thread in embroidery.