Clubs and societies
The American Needlepoint Guild Inc. is an educational, non-profit organisation set up in 1972 to encourage educational and cultural development through participation in and encouragement of interest in the art of needlepoint. Needlepoint is defined by the Guild as any form of counted or free style stitchery worked by hand with a needle and thread on a countable ground.
The Embroiderers' Guild is a British charity set up in 1906 by a group of sixteen former students of the Royal School of (Art) Needlework. They established a society to “deal entirely with embroidery, and with the first object of keeping up a high standard of work and design.”
In 1303, the then Provost of Paris, Guillaume de Hangest, signed specific statutes for the corporation of the embroiderers and embroideresses in Paris. This was the first of its nature ever drafted in western Europe. One of the rules says that gold work should be worked with silk thread. Another rule forbids embroiderers to work with candlelight, since their work would simply be inferior to that worked by daylight. Apprenticeships lasted for at least eight years. Work on Sundays and other religious feast days was also forbidden, and so was a visit by a guild member to someone who was not.
The Miniature Needlework Society (International) was set up in 1997 to promote all forms of miniature needlework, including embroidery, crochet, tatting and lace making etc. The Society produces newsletters and organises workshops. It has attracted many members from Australia, Britain, the Netherlands and the United States.
The National Needlework Archive (NNA) was established in 2008 and in 2010 moved to The Old Chapel, Greenham Business Centre, Newbury, which is also the home of the Old Chapel Textile Centre. The NNA keeps a documentary and photographic record of needlework located in the community in the UK. It also maintains an extensive textile-related library.
The Pomegranate Guild of Judaic Needlework was set up in 1977 by a group of professional Jewish needle artists in New York. These women shared a common interest in Jewish tradition and the desire to create new and beautiful ceremonial objects for the home and synagogue. The Guild publishes the Paper Pomegranate.
A quilting bee is a social gathering during which a quilt is made. The term is commonly used throughout the USA. The word ‘bee’ was used in colonial America to refer to different forms of communal work that benefited a neighbour, for example, a logging bee to fell wood or a husking bee to strip maize.
The Textile Society was established in 1982 during a conference at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, UK. It promotes the study of textiles and their history, both traditional and contemporary. The Society supports students, designers, historians and practitioners through its educational and professional awards. The Society's Journal, TEXT, is published annually.
The West Kingdom Needleworkers Guild of the Society for Creative Anachronism was set up in September 2000 in order to encourage, promote and study historical (medieval and Renaissance) needlework. The Guild Newsletter is called Filum Aureum and it contains a large number of articles written on various subjects by members and friends of the Guild (click here).