Select Page

Heritage Crafts and the Costume Society launch new partnership

The Costume SocietyHeritage Crafts and the Costume Society have joined forces to launch two training bursaries to ensure that new and early-career fashion textile makers have the skills they need to succeed.

Many people are dissuaded from training in the hand skills of fashion textiles because of the cost, and therefore the make-up of the sector is not truly representative of the UK as a whole. This bursary has been set up to help cover or subsidise the training of someone who would otherwise be prevented from pursuing this career path as a result of the cost.

©Leeds Museums and Galleries; photograph by Sara PorterThey could be just starting out on your journey in fashion textiles, or at the point where they want to turn a hobby into a career, or they could already be a maker or designer who is looking to further develop their hand skills.

Fashion textile crafts can include, but are not limited to, dressmaking, tailoring, pattern cutting, hat making, millinery, glovemaking, fabric pleating, corset making, etc. Applications for training that prioritises the acquisition of practical hand skills will be favoured over training that is predominantly theoretical or design-oriented.

If you are new to the craft and you would like assistance with finding a trainer, please get in touch and we will do what we can to help. The two successful applicants will benefit from up to £4,000 in funding each, and be supported by the Heritage Crafts team to help them achieve their aims. For more information on how to apply for the bursaries (deadline 23 February 2024) visit https://heritagecrafts.org.uk/fashion-textile-bursaries/.

The Costume Society is a UK membership organisation formed in 1964 to promote the study and preservation of historic and contemporary dress. Its new partnership with Heritage Crafts will also see a brand-new Fashion Textile Maker of the Year Award launched this summer, with a £2,000 prize and a trophy to be presented at a special Winners’ Reception in November.

The fashion textiles bursaries announced today sit alongside others in precious metal skills (supported by The Royal Mint) and musical instrument making (supported by the Golsoncott Foundation and Jennifer Chen). Additional bursaries for other crafts will open in May.

Prof Natascha Radclyffe-Thomas, Vice Chair of the Costume Society, said:

“The Costume Society is delighted to be launching two new training bursaries and a new Fashion Textile Maker of the Year Award in collaboration with Heritage Crafts to mark our 60th anniversary year. The bursaries and award extend the Costume Society’s mission to support the study and promotion of historic and contemporary dress by enhancing and protecting the skills of makers that are so central to fashion textiles. These opportunities are made possible by a legacy from founder member Anne Thomas, who worked tirelessly to celebrate excellence in makers and making.”

Jay Blades MBE, Co-Chair of Heritage Crafts, said:

“At Heritage Crafts we believe that great design is rooted in hand skill, so that designers can fully understand the properties and behaviours of materials, and appreciate the labour and skill involved in using them to produce garments and accessories. We are delighted to be working with the Costume Society to bring fashion textile skills to talented individuals who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to develop them.”

Photo: © Leeds Museums and Galleries; photograph by Sara Porter.

Training bursaries for fashion textile crafts

Deadline: 5pm on Friday 23 February 2024

The Costume SocietyThis training bursary is targeted at trainees and prospective trainees of fashion textile crafts who are experiencing financial hardship. It is sponsored by The Costume Society and is one of a suite of awards and bursaries offered by Heritage Crafts to support and celebrate heritage craftspeople.

Apply for up to £4,000 to start training in a fashion textile craft or to further develop your skills.


 

Fashion textiles training bursaryMany people are dissuaded from training in fashion textile crafts because of the cost, and therefore the make-up of the sector is not truly representative of the mix of backgrounds that make up the UK as a whole. This bursary has been set up to help cover or subsidise the cost of training for someone who would otherwise be prevented from pursuing this career path as a result of the cost.

You could be just starting out on your journey in fashion textile crafts or at the point where you want to turn a hobby into a career, or you could already be a maker who is looking to further refine your skills.

Fashion textile crafts can include, but are not limited to, dressmaking, tailoring, pattern cutting, hat making, millinery, glovemaking, fabric pleating, corset making, and so on. Applications for training that prioritises the acquisition of practical hand skills will be favoured over training that is predominantly theoretical or design-oriented.

If you are new to a craft and are struggling to find the right training for you, after your own research, please get in touch and we may be able to support. Successful applicants will be supported by the Heritage Crafts team to develop an action plan. We will work with you to monitor progress and support you to achieve your aims.

 

What can this grant be used for?

There are a number of routes to learning a craft skill. Applicants can apply for a grant for any amount up to £4,000 which can cover or contribute towards:

  • the costs of training with a craftsperson;
  • the costs of attending a specialist training course;
  • the costs of attending an accredited training course;
  • undertaking a self-directed programme of training with one or more craftspeople;
  • the cost of specialist tools or materials, books or study materials or low cost travel (no more than 25% of total budget).

The bursary cannot be used for general living expenses, research, promotional activities or anything else. Successful applicants will be supported by the Heritage Crafts team. We will work with to you monitor progress and support you to achieve your aims.

  • Bursaries will be only awarded to crafts used in the creation of garments and accessories that include a substantial element of textiles.
  • Fabric textile production is eligible if it is intended for garment and accessory making, but not for things like upholstery or tapestry.
  • Footwear production that involves stitching is eligible.
  • Hat making and millinery are eligible.
  • Wig making is eligible, but only if it for costume.
  • Button and fastening making and ribbon weaving are eligible, but only if they are for garments or accessories.
  • Jewellery making is only eligible if it is of a type that is ineligible for our precious metal bursaries.
  • Watchmaking is not eligible.

 

How to apply

Please apply by filling out the form below. We will also accept a video application of no more than 15 minutes in length in which you address all of the questions in the form below. You can access a list of questions here.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 23 February 2024. If you have any questions or need assistance with the application process, please email Tess Osman at tess@heritagecrafts.org.uk.

Assessment, shortlisting and final selection will be carried out by the Heritage Crafts judging team, and interviews will be carried out by Zoom. If you are new to a craft and you would like assistance with finding a trainer, please get in touch and we will do what we can to help.