Latest News

A range of items of interest to the Membership

Trusteeship Dinner

21 June 2018
All Members of the Freedom and Livery Who Serve as Trustees

The Company fosters a common purpose in trusteeship among its members and across the third sector, encouraging and celebrating good governance. This dinner is intended to celebrate and support those trustees and school governors among our our Freedom and Livery. Guest speaker Sir Mark Waller is expected to inspire guests.

Am I Eligible?

Any member of the Freedom or Livery of our Company currently acting as a trustee or school governor is eligible to attend, and to bring with them as a guest another member of their governing board. We will be sending out e-invites shortly, so keep an eye on your inbox.

We would also like to extend an invitation to those those seriously considering taking on a role as a trustee or school governor as well, so that you may meet fellow Clothworkers who can share their experiences with you. If you are not currently a trustee or school governor, but are interested in becoming one, please send an email to Membership and Communications Manager Renée LaDue ( to express your interest and share your reasons for wanting to attend. Early expressions of interest are recommended, as space is limited and we may not be able to accommodate all requests.

Trusteeship Dinner

June 2018

This dinner aims to celebrate and support Clothworkers currently acting as trustees and fulfilling our common purpose.

read more

London Craft Week

Join us at Clothworkers' Hall (11 May 2018)

London Craft Week is 9 - 13 May. Find out more about the event, and things to do in London, on the festival website:

At Clothworker's Hall, we're celebrating the Company's latest tapestry, The Caged Bird's Song. Find out more about the tapestry here.


Dovecot Tapestry Studio will lead a series of weaving masterclasses in Clothworkers’ Hall alongside the sensuous and lustrous tapestry The Caged Bird’s Song, created from designs by the Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili (and featured in a major exhibition, Weaving Magic, at The National Gallery, London, last year). Participants will have an opportunity to discover the creative process of weaving a tapestry, as Dovecot’s Master Weavers describe the process and skills required to translate Chris Ofili’s watercolour pigment into woven wool. The session will include a weaving demonstration and opportunity to try some weaving yourself on a sample loom.

See below for booking information.

Lunchtime Lecture

In this 45-minute lecture, hear first-hand how Dovecot Tapestry Studio approached weaving a textile masterpiece to Chris Ofili’s design. Discover how the collaboration evolved, the symbols and meaning behind the imagery in the work as well as how the weavers achieved the tapestry’s extraordinary richness of texture and lustrous colour.

See below for booking information.

Booking Information

Exclusive! Join a Members'-Only Workshop

Friday, 11 May (16.00)

Dovecot is leading a special workshop for members. Registration is free, but space is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Don't miss this special opportunity, and book today! Booking Password: 'WEAVING'.

Book Now: Members' Workshop

Public Workshops

Friday, 11 May (10.00, 11.15, or 14.30)

Members may instead wish to book a place on a public workshop (for yourself or family and friends). These workshops will fill up fast, so book today! Password not required.

Book Now: Public Workshop

Lunchtime Lecture

Friday, 11 May (13.00-13.45)

Pop in for a 45-minute lecture to learn more about the making of The Caged Bird's Song tapestry, as well as the production of the Weaving Magic exhibition at The National Gallery. Password not required.

Book Now: Lunchtime Lecture

London Craft Week (May 2018)

May 2018

Join us at Clothworkers' Hall to meet the Dovecot Studios master weavers and learn more about making 'The Caged Bird's Song'.

read more

Your Votes Are In!

2018 Recipients of the Livery Fund

Each year, we encourage all Clothworkers to donate, within their means, to the Livery Fund (a sub-fund of The Clothworkers' Foundation). The Company not only matches all donations, but also allows you, as a donor, to decide where the grants are allocated by nominating and then voting for shortlisted charities—making the Livery Fund an effective and rewarding way to directly support causes important to you.

The votes are in for 2018. This year, grants of £31,000 each will be awarded to Ditch the Label, the Harrow Club W10, and The Country Food Trust.

Ditch the Label

Nearly half of all young people will experience bullying at some point before they turn 18, which can have a detrimental impact on their health and wellbeing. They may be more likely to suffer anxiety, depression, self-harm, and have suicidal thoughts. Ditch the Label is a digital anti-bullying and pro-equality charity that helps young people aged 12-25 by providing emotional and practical support to those experiencing bullying. The organisation also conducts research into the causes and effects of bullying through its Annual Bullying Survey (reaching 10,000 respondents), helping it to understand the issues, fight prejudice, and change behaviour.

The Livery Fund grant will support a pilot project to develop a range of holistic resources for selected schools to help them tackle bullying. It will also provide solution-based resources for teachers to refer to when faced with a particular bullying problem.

Harrow Club W10

The primary aim of the Harrow Club W10 is to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people in West London by providing support and a safe space to spend time with friends and develop new skills. A centre of excellence, it has been awarded the London Youth Quality Kite Mark, Gold Level. Since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, the Club has launched a new range of after-school and holiday activities including debating, boxing, drama, and dance.

The Livery Fund grant support DebateBox, a new 16-week programme for 13-14 year olds that combines weekly debating workshops with boxing sessions. Boxing has the ability to engage disadvantaged young people, especially those who struggle to control physical and verbal aggression. But in order to take part in the boxing sessions, participants must also engage with the debating side of the programme, helping them to develop and improve key skills such as critical thinking, empathy, communication, and self-confidence.

The Country Food Trust

In its first year (2016), The Country Food Trust provided more than 20,000 meals to people in food poverty. The following year (2017), the charity produced five times that amount: 100,000 meals! The Trust has developed two products, The Country Pheasant Casserole and The Country Partridge Curry. The meals are loved by 'soup kitchens' because the game used in recipes is lean and high in protein—something that many charities struggle to achieve when providing meal to those in need.

The Livery Fund grant will be used to scale the supply chain and potentially hire an individual to co-ordinate interactions between charities, game dealers, and estates to enable the charity to feed more people on a local basis. They will coordinate estates to donate their birds and a processing fee, game dealers will take the birds in and convert them into 10 kilo bags of frozen diced pheasant breast and deliver them to charities that cook for people in need.

Make a Donation

Inspired? Making a donation to the Livery Fund is easy—all members of the Freedom and Livery are encouraged to do so. Visit our 'Charity' webpage to find out more about setting up a standing order for annual or even monthly payments. You can also contact Emma Temple at Clothworkers' Hall if you have questions.

2018 Livery Fund Recipients

April 2018

Your votes are in! Members have decided the three 2018 Livery Fund recipients.

read more

A Star is Born: Luke Thallon

The Clothworkers' Foundation

Luke Thallon was the 2016 recipient of the The Clothworker Foundation’s Laurence Olivier Bursary (part of the proactive Dramatic Arts initiative), which helped him through his final year at the Guildhall School. Luke had to miss his graduation ceremony because it coincided with a performance of a show at the Almeida Theatre, where he was playing the role of Gabriel in Mike Bartlett’s play Albion. The performance earned him a nomination for the Evening Standard’s Emerging Talent Award (2017).

Members may be interested in seeing Luke in his next production, The Inheritance, directed by Stephen Daldry. The play has already opened at the Young Vic.

Immediate Past Master Michael Jarvis has had the pleasure of meeting Luke and seeing him on stage. He emphasised the continuing interest The Clothworkers’ Foundation takes in all those students it has supported under its proactive programme for the dramatic arts. Luke’s success, while far from typical, is an inspirational reminder of the enduring effect The Foundation’s work can have on those that benefit from its programmes.

Image: Luke as 'Gabriel' in Albion. © Almeida Theatre, photography by Marc Brenner. Source: Evening Standard (17 November 2017).

A Star is Born: Luke Thallon

March 2018

The 2016 recipient of The Foundation's Laurence Olivier Bursary continues to take centre stage.

read more

Textiles Abroad

The Keiskamma Trust (South Africa)

Hamburg (a name chosen by its original German settlers in the 1850s) is a small village on the southern coast of Africa, situated near the Keiskamma River. The Keiskamma Trust is a community venture established there in 2000, by then very impoverished. It has two key programmes.  

The first is an initiative to encourage local women to learn embroidery and related clothworking skills. They have now become a powerful band of more than 100 artists who generate an income from their output, jointly designing and creating a range of work from their relatively routine production of craft items—ranging from cushion covers and toy animals to award-winning artworks of monumental scale. Several of these works have been exhibited internationally, and a number are in important collections. Among them is the ‘Keiskamma Tapestry’ (‘tapestry’ is used in this context to denote a sizeable work—this one is approximately 120 metres and made of wool, embroidered onto hessian), which is now on permanent display in the parliament building in Cape Town.

Immediate Past Master Michael Jarvis, inspired by the Keiskamma Tapestry, bestowed upon the Trust the Discretionary Grant each Master may propose during his or her year of service.

He visited Hamburg in November 2017 to see the art project at first hand. One group was working on a piece commissioned from Australia, and Michael was fascinated by the design process—in this case involving an overall ‘cartoon’ on paper, the embroidery of individual figures and other iconography that were then sown onto the backing material, with further stitching by way of background.

During his visit, Michael was also introduced to the Trust’s second main arm, its Music Academy, which instructs young members of the community in classical musical education. He attended an interesting concert at a local secondary school, featuring students performing on everything from violins to saxophones, flutes to pianos, and even an African drum.  

The Trust recently showcased its art and music programmes in London. This past December, students from the Music Academy (aged 14 to 22) performed in Manchester, Birmingham, and Oxford before visiting London for a special celebration at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP). Before the concert, the RCP unveiled a tapestry commissioned from the Trust to commemorate the College’s 500th anniversary. Michael was delighted to be at the event, and particularly touched to be able to meet Wonke Mapuma (18), who holds the special honour of being the Trust’s first student to have past the Grade 8 exam on the clarinet. The tapestry is now on display in one of the RCP’s public spaces.

Image: The Royal College of Physicians' anniversary tapestry. Photography by Jonathan Whale. © Royal College of Physicians.

Textiles Abroad

March 2018

Learn about the Keiskamma Trust, recipients of Immediate Past Master Michael Jarvis's discretionary grant.

read more