This morning Mark visited Hand & Lock, one of our constituency’s oldest manufacturers, to see examples of their exquisite embroidery work.
Hand & Lock is an embroidery company that was formed in 2001 when two long established embroidery businesses merged. In 1767, the Hand family, originally Huguenot refugees from Flanders, set up an embroidery business specializing in laces, cords, braids and heraldic designs in the City of London. Lock was formed in 1956 when young designer, Stanley Lock, took over CE Phipps & Co, creating an embroidery company that went on to work with couturiers such as Christian Dior and embellish gowns for the Queen, Queen Mother and Princess Diana.
Hand & Lock’s commitment to produce only the highest quality hand embroidered products ensures that the company maintains its place as the leading supplier of all types of embroidery. Recent projects include work on The Last King of Scotland, the King of Tonga’s coronation and costumes for the Lion King.
Mark was shown beautiful beaded costumes, glorious military motifs, work that had been commissioned for London Fashion week and designs dating back a century which had been kept from the company’s old premises. He met a number of the company’s employees to learn about the design process and discussed the challenges facing the industry with the company’s Chairman, Alistair Macleod. Mr Macleod is keen to win some of the clothing contracts for the forthcoming London Olympics in 2012 and believes that in using Hand & Lock, Olympic chiefs could showcase British talent and industry to the world.