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Published: 30 March 2019

By Andy Ross

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The Needlework Development Scheme

In 1934 a project was developed between industry and art and design education. This was the Needlework Development Scheme.

The scheme was a collaborative effort to encourage embroidery and raise the standard in design with Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow Art Schools and financing by J & P Coats, the thread manufacturing company. The project finally ended in 1961 when funding was withdrawn but by that stage more than 3000 items had found their way into the collection. These items and educational materials associated with the craft were available for schools, colleges and women's institutions to borrow. The collection was disbursed around the country and pieces can be seen at the National Museum of Scotland, the V&A Museum and the Embroiderers Guild. You can find out more about this collection here and on the V&A Museum's website here.  What a brilliant idea! Perhaps we need something like it to teach crafts again?