Claire de Waard - Straw Embroidery class


Hand & Lock

Date: 2nd - 4th April 2022 Time: 10am - 4.30pm  Location: Hand & Lock, 86 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8TE Class description

Straw embroidery is a traditional embroidery technique coming from western Europe, where it became a consequential cottage industry in the 17th century. The use of straw was widespread in fashion such as for hats, shoes etc.. but also on religious items, mimicking the technique still used for such items today : goldwork.

Playing on the provenance of the main material, the design for this class showcases flora and fauna inspired by summer and will be worked combining natural straw with beading elements and goldwork threads.

Students will learn how to create different ways of padding motifs, ready to be embellished. Working from wheat stalks, they will also be taught how to prepare and split the stems so that they are ready to be worked with. One technique will then focus on how to stitch it directly on the surface, in a way reminiscent of goldwork, while the second will introduce students on how to use the straw in a more three dimensional manner before being added to the embroidery. The add-on of crystals and beading will finish the design and create a jewel-like embroidery.

 Tutor bio

Claire de Waard is a Hand Embroiderer who graduated from the Royal School of Needlework. She has since been involved in the fashion industry, working on catwalk pieces and private commissions for brands such as Ralph & Russo or Alexander McQueen.

In her own practice, Claire focuses on reinterpreting traditional textile and craft techniques for a contemporary context. This allows her to explore different craft disciplines and to create contrasts in the materials with which she designs. This has led her to particularly focus on straw with the aim to further her knowledge on its use and explore its aesthetic.


Day One : - presentation + basis of working with straw

- Making leaf shapes on comb 

- Cutting and stitching the felt padding on buds
- Sculpting carpet felt padding and felt padding on beetle
- Stitching the straw on beetle’s main body

Day Two : - stitch sew-ons while straw is soaking

- Straw on beetle’s upper body
- Straw on 1 bud
- Stitching the pearl purl 

- Stitching the straw on big flower

Day Three : - beading on the beetle

- Stitching straw leaf shapes 
- Beading big gold flower
- Rest of the day : catch up on schedule and carrying on embroidery (shaping leaves on comb, straw on smaller flower, straw and pearl purl on other bud, beading outlines on flowers)


 All materials provided | Upon successful completion of the class students receive an official Hand & Lock certificate detailing the new skills mastered |  For more information please contact

*Please note, class bookings are non-refundable.