Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Williamsburg School of Needlework?
Our school has been establisheds to train those interested in becoming a professional hand embroiderer working from home. We train our students in production embroidery techniques that will be used in the commercial linen manufacture industry.
As a vocational school, our focus to provide training in the basics of fine hand embroidery. Specifically, our current focus is upon linen making and the embellishment of hand embroidery. These particular skills are sought after in the textile marketplace.
Our goal as a school is to create a work force of hand embroiderers that are available to other companies seeking hand embroidery on their product lines. This would be evident in ecclesiastical and home decor linens and textiles.
What qualifications does a student need to become a professional embroiderer?
We are interested in training students that have some hand embroidery skills. It is more important that you can learn what it means to do production work on a commercial basis, than taking master classes from guilds and teachers that teach artisan & craft techniques. These are viable resources, but the focus and outcome is not the same.
Our vocational training therefore, teaches the business of embroidery with a focus upon techniques of embroidery found in the marketplace and the creation of commercial products. This form of training will help to create a makers team of perfectly skilled artisans - able to create useful and industry standard work for the high end textile markets..
Students will be asked to write a business plan for themselves, set embroidery achievement & financial goals, set up and create a professional space or studio in their home, and submit embroidery samples from their courses. This is vital in preparation for becoming a professional hand embroiderer. Much of the work is multiples of the same motif and design. Mastering particular techniques and criteria in traditional classical embroidery will be the foremost goal of our training.
How long does it take to qualify for work?
Our accelerated learning courses are designed to teach basic techniques in marketplace embroidery. We teach classical embroidery used in many traditional companies.
You will go through each course learning skills that can translate into meaningful employment. The key in our coursework is to learn the techniques, then you must practice until you have perfected them. It generally takes 3 months of daily practice to learn a new skill.
You are required to embroider test samplers, designed for you. These samplers must be embroidered and sent back to the school. The samplers will become each student's work portfolio kept on file. We will use these samples to qualify you for contracted work.
How does the school obtain work for the embroiders?
We obtain work through our client base. We have been in business for 25+ years creating linens for both churches and private clients throughout the US and Canada.
We will be contracting with companies in the linen and hand embroidery industry - for the purpose of obtaining professional needlework commission and contracts for our American cottage embroiderers.
Can I take classes just for my own enjoyment - I do not want to embroider as a job?
For those interested in classes just for enjoyment or hobby, we have created embroidery classes just for you. Our classes teach you our Old World style of stitching as used in our own workroooms. You will be taught the basics in hand embroidery, church linen needlework, and hand monograms.