Hand and Lock is a fusion of two great long-established embroidery companies: M. Hand founded in 1767 who specialized in gold wire and silk work and S. Lock founded in 1898, artists in tambour beading. They describe themselves as "the world's finest provider of hand embroidery since 1767". They work with many up and coming designers and famous couturiers, not to mention costume for film and theatre, fine bridal wear and regalia for both the military and royalty. They have worked on costuming for such movies as the Harry Potter series, the Last King of Scotland, Atonement, Sherlock Holmes and Valkyrie, and theatre productions of The Lion King and Wicked. Their work adorns many beautiful gowns worn by Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother, Princess Anne and Princess Diana. They did the embroidery and embellishments on the Sgt. Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band uniforms for the Beatles. I could go on and on, but you get the picture...
The lecture was most interesting- he not only told us about Hand and Lock and their prestigious international prize for embroidery (the reason for his tour -an annual prize fund of over $20,000. to promote the use of hand embroidery within the fashion, textile , tailoring and soft furnishing industries) but also a most interesting, if abbreviated, history of embroidery. But what I enjoyed most was seeing the samples he brought from the company archives. These photos really do not do them justice, but do give you a little taste of the incredible work... You can watch the same video we saw, here . What a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon... Thank you Alastair!
My soul is fed by needle and thread.