Latest News

A range of items of interest to the Membership

Bangledesh Youth Movement

The Clothworkers' Foundation

The Master – along with trustees and staff members of The Clothworkers' Foundation – visited one of our grantees in Tower Hamlets last month (February). It is unusual for The Foundation to visit a charity in receipt of a grant through the small grants programme, and unusual to visit after a grant has been awarded, so this was an exceptional experience. The visitors were able to meet with the organisation's chair and several volunteers at the charity's Women's Centre of Excellence. The visit was followed by a shared curry lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Bangledesh Youth Movement offers a range of free services and activities to the local community in Tower Hamlets. These services include welfare rights advice, support with housing/homelessness, youth provisions, sewing classes and ESOL. They also work in partnership with other schools, charities and voluntary groups.

The Foundation awarded the charity a grant of £9,600 in May 2018 towards office equipment, furniture and sewing machines that will assist in setting up and running of the Women's Centre of Excellence Education & Training project. The programme supports young women in various training activities such as searching for employment, CV writing, ESOL and sewing classes.

Find out more about the charity at

The Annual Review, reporting on The Company and The Foundation's 2018 activities (including grant-giving) will be with members soon, and you can read about the charities that benefitted from our support last year inside.

Bangledesh Youth Movement

March 2019

The Master, trustees and staff visit a Clothworkers' Foundation grantee in Tower Hamlets.

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Inter Livery Sailing and Shooting

Recruiting Clothworkers for Forthcoming Events

Inter Livery Clay Shoot
The 2019 Inter Livery Clay Shoot is Thursday, 16 May.

Inter Livery Rifle Shoot (Bisley)
The 2019 Rifle and Small Arms Event at Bisley is Friday, 31 May.

Anyone interested in joining us for either of the shooting events should contact Team Captain Charlie Houston for more information.

Inter Livery Golf Competition
Please contact Golf Team Captain Tim Bousfield with questions or expressions of interest in forthcoming events.

Great Twelve Sailing Challenge
This year the Great Twelve Sailing Challenge will be on Saturday, 1 June (Seaview Yacht Club, Isle of Wight). The Company covers the cost of entry for the teams, as well as the eventing meal each night for competing Clothworkers and their partners. Clothworkers participating in the event are asked to cover their own travel and accommodation. The event is a great opportunity to make new friends and develop your sailing skills during a friendly competition. If you are interested, or have any questions, please email the Sailing Team Captain, Andrew Yonge.

Incorporation of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen (Exeter) Annual Boule Competition (Exe Estruary, Topsham)
The Clothworkers' Company has been invited to send two members to this annual boule competition on 3 July. The event will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the granting of the IWFS Royal Charter and the 550th anniversary of continuous occupation of their hall. If you are interested in representing The Clothworkers' Company, please register here.

Recruiting Clothworkers for Inter Livery Sports

March 2019

Learn more about getting involved with Inter Livery Sailing and Shooting events.

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New Production from Clothworkers' Theatre Award Recipient

In Basildon will be launched at the Queen's Theatre Hornchurch (March)

The winner of the Clothworkers’ Theatre Award was announced at the UK Theatre Awards at London’s Guildhall in October.  It was won by the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch, one of nine producing theatres from the East and South East of England invited to compete for the award.  

The £150,000 award will support Essex on Stage, an ambitious new two-year programme championing positive notions of Essex, celebrating theatre made by working class people and raising aspirations for emerging artists from Essex and Outer East London. The programme aims to commission new plays, establish a network of venues, introduce drama about Essex across Essex for new audiences, organise local events to develop talent, and develop life-changing projects with communities.

The programme will kick off with the regional premiere of David Eldridge’s In Basildon, which has never before been performed professionally in the part of the world featured in its story.
On learning that his play was to be staged, David Eldridge said, ‘I am delighted that the first revival of In Basildon is being mounted in Essex at my local theatre ... The Queen’s Theatre occupies a special place in my heart. It is where I did my experience aged 18, and it’s where I was the late Bob Carlton’s Literary Associate for six years, running the theatre’s writers’ groups and advising on new work for the programme. I can’t wait to be back with a play of my own.’

This was the fifth and final Clothworkers’ Theatre Award. The Clothworkers’ Foundation will now commission an independent external evaluation of the £1.25m proactive Dramatic Arts initiative, which includes the Theatre Award, as well as major grants to leading drama schools – including Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and National Youth Theatre – for bursaries to students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The findings of the evaluation will help The Foundation decide whether the Dramatic Arts initiative should be extended.  

The Foundation was recently informed that Charlotte Law, who benefitted from bursaries made to The National Youth Theatre in 2016, has been cast as Shelley for In Basildon, which will run 14-30 March. Click here to purchase tickets to the show .

Read more about the Dramatic Arts initiative and other Proactive initiatives on The Foundation’s new website: .

New Production from Clothworkers' Theatre Award Recipient

February 2019

In Basildon: a new show at Queen's Theatre Hornchurch (2018 Clothworkers' Theatre Award recipient).

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New Commission from Cockpit Arts Weaver

Elizabeth Ashdown creates new textiles for the Charity Governance Awards 2019

For the past three years, we've presented each winner for the Charity Governance Awards with an attractive perspex trophy encasing a special textile design by Cassandra Sabo. Cassandra's designs inspired the look and feel of the Charity Governance Awards as a whole.

This year, we've commissioned a brand-new textiles design from one of the talented weavers at Cockpit Arts. Elizabeth Ashdown has been inspired by Cassandra's earlier work, but has created a completely new and unique woven work for the next set of Charity Governance Awards. Her work will be encased in the perspex trophies presented at Charity Governance Awards ceremony this coming May.

Elizabeth is a hand woven and mixed media textile designer and artist. Her practice focuses on creating exuberant, luxurious and playful hand-crafted textiles for a variety of applications including fashion, interiors and accessories. She uses traditional textile techniques to create modern textile objects that are full of life, texture, colour and vibrancy.

The pieces commissioned for the Charity Governance Awards are made from warps of fine polyester yarn, finished with a rich depth of colour and lustre. They have been woven in a striped design using a flat Soutache braid pattern. Rayon and Viscose materials are also used in this work.

New Commission from Cockpit Arts Weaver

January 2019

Elizabeth Ashdown creates new textiles for the Charity Governance Awards 2019.

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Making It in Textiles

Bradford Textiles Conference (October 2018)
Written by Immediate Past Master Carolyn Boulter

Making It in Textiles is a conference for final year textile design degree students, which introduces them and their tutors to the UK textiles industry, encouraging them to consider a variety of career options explained by industry experts. Attendees receive the chance to visit two textile manufacturing establishments in the Bradford area and to talk about their future career plans.

This year, 50 guests from industry, education, City Livery Companies and the Campaign for Wool came to the event and networked with students; 118 students (including their tutors) registered, from the following 23 institutions:  

Bath Spa University, Birmingham City University, Bradford School of Art, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Art, Coleg Sir Gar, De Montfort University, Falmouth University, Glasgow School of Art, Hereford College of Art, Heriot Watt University, London Metropolitan University, Loughborough University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Middlesex University, Nottingham Trent University, Royal College of Art, UCA Farnham, University of Brighton, University of Derby, University of Huddersfield, University of Leeds, Winchester School of Art.

For some, it was their first experience of attending a conference, and they arrived quite anxious. But the organisers seated students at set places at tables to enhance discussion and soon the students were chatting and starting to network with those from other institutions and the experts from the textiles industry. This was extremely effective, with many commenting on the useful new contacts they had made. It was obvious that representatives from the industry were enthusiastic about meeting young people and encouraging them to enter the field. One student commented, ‘This is bringing us and the mills together, we can bring creativity into a conservative environment’. They learned that there is no formula for success, but there is a need for perseverance and the ability to be flexible and multi-skilled.

The conference – in its fifth year – is funded and organised through a collaboration of The Clothworkers', Weavers' and Drapers' Companies, as well as the Campaign for Wool. It is now attracting interest from other companies like The Dyers', Framework Knitters' and Broderers' Companies. The sessions were run by a series of student-orientated speakers, presenting opportunities, processes and reflections on careers in the textiles industry – much of which students don't get in their university courses. The final session, reviewing their futures in the industry, revealed that many of them now realise the scope and opportunity for working in the sector.

On the second morning, five coaches set off to visit pairs of mills and factories. For example, one coach went to Abraham Moon & Sons, Managing Director John Walsh is a Clothworker Liveryman. It was founded in 1837, and is a vertical mill near Harrogate taking in raw wool and outputting high-quality fabrics for clothing and furnishings. The mill is a heritage building, still going full tilt and pretty noisy in places. For some, it was the first time they had been in a mill. That group then proceeded to Laxtons Specialist Yarns, which provided a contrast. It’s in a new, purpose-built industrial unit in Guisley. It produces hand-knitting wools as well as yarns for the industry.

The experience of seeing the opportunities and constraints on designing finished textiles for the discerning market that are imposed by the manufacturing process was invaluable. One student group commented at the conclusion that to be a successful designer within the industry you need:

•    Technical knowledge for the future
•    Communication skills especially persuasion and problem solving
•    Clear understanding of the design process
•    To know your market
•    A willingness to take opportunities and be open minded

Let’s hope many of these students will make it in textiles!

Making It in Textiles 2018

October 2018

Supporting the textiles industry and textiles students.

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