Records and textiles of the Needlework Development Scheme, 16th century-1998 Add to your favourites. View associated digital content.

Collection Overview

Title: Records and textiles of the Needlework Development Scheme, 16th century-1998 Add to your favourites. View associated digital content.

Primary Creator: The Needlework Development Scheme (1934-1961)

Other Creators: J & P Coats (UK) Ltd (1808-1981)

Extent: 125.0 Items

Arrangement:

The collection is arranged into seven series:

NDS GB: Examples of British needlework

NDS F: Examples of foreign needlework

NDS COR: Correspondence of the NDS

NDS INV: NDS inventories

NDS IMG: NDS images

NDS PUB: NDS publications

NDS REL: NDS related material

Subjects: Art education, Embroidery (visual works), Publications, Teaching materials, Textiles, The Glasgow School of Art

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection consists of the surviving papers of the Needlework Development Scheme and over 100 examples of needlework. Of these examples, 28 are from Great Britain and 54 are examples of non-British work including examples from Greece, India, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Bosnia. Items include ecclesiatical, domestic, costume, clothing and modern embroideries, tea cosies, funeral pall, clothing, lace work, wall hangings, samplers, linen work and cushion covers.

The surviving papers include a complete inventory of 1012 items that were part of the Needlework Development Scheme prior to its dispersal in 1961. This provides information on the original numbering scheme used for the needlework examples and also provides information on the provenance of each item, although this is not necessarily the creator of the item but the person from whom the item was received, as well as a description of the item itself. There is an inventory of the parts of the collection received by the Glasgow School of Art, insurance details concerning the collection and the correspondence of the Needlework Development Scheme, 1931-1941.

This material may contain sensitive information about individuals that is protected by the Data Protection Act. Until this material has been checked for sensitive information, it will not be available for researchers. Once this Data Protection work is complete the collection will be open for access, however any sensitive information will be closed and inaccessible for 75 years from the date of creation.

Collection Historical Note

The Needlework Development in Scotland scheme ran from 1934-1939 and was a collaboration between art and design education with industry, with its funding being received from J & P Coats, thread manufacturers of Paisley, Scotland, with the company's main office being located in Glasgow, Scotland. The aims of the Scheme were to encourage greater interest in needlework and to improve the standard of design, the scheme becoming a forerunner of the Needlework Development Scheme (NDS), 1944-1961, also funded by J & P Coats.

The NDS was led by the vision of Colin Martin, and based on the educational philosophies of the time. The Scheme's aim was to improve the standard of design and technique of embroidery by helping both teachers and students. Encouraging embroidery also meant that J & P Coats were creating a future market for their threads and at the scheme's height in the 1950s J & P Coats spent the current equivalent of £1m printing 15 million bulletins which were mostly issued free to school girls.

The NDS was managed from the Central Agency of J & P Coats in Wellington Street, Glasgow. Loan collections of historical and modern embroideries were developed with examples being purchased by, or donated to, the Scheme with some examples being purchased from the Glasgow School of Art. These collections were then exhibited and loaned to schools in order to help teach and promote embroidery as an art form.

In 1961, Coats Patons Ltd, formerly J & P Coats Ltd, withdrew funding for the Scheme and it ceased to function. The collection of over 3000 textile items was broken up and disseminated between around 14 universities, colleges and museums. In Scotland, NDS collections exist at The Royal Museum of Scotland, Paisley Museum, Dundee University, Edinburgh College of Art, Gray's School of Art at Aberdeen, and the Glasgow School of Art. The Glasgow School of Art was one of the places that received material from the NDS and Kath Whyte, the Head of School of Embroided and Woven Textiles at the time, was able to choose the items from the collection that she felt would be useful for use as teaching aids within her department.

Biographical Note

The Needlework Development Scheme (NDS) was a collaborative project between art and design education and industry. Originally established in Scotland in 1934, its aim was to encourage embroidery and to raise the standard of design in Britain.

Financed by J and P Coats, the thread manufacturers, the Scheme was organised by the four Scottish art schools, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Its collection of foreign and British embroidery was available to domestic science and training colleges, women's institutions and schools, as well as art schools. By 1939, the Scheme had acquired some 900 embroideries but the outbreak of WWII closed the Scheme and the collection was retained by the four original art schools.

Glasgow School of Art was instrumental in re-starting the Scheme late in 1944. Its aims were the same as its predecessor, but expanded its remit to include other arts schools in the United Kingdom where embroidery was taught.In the years following the WWII, the Scheme became centralised and staffed with a qualified embroidery expert, a secretary and several practitioners. The Scheme commissioned the British designer Mary Kessell to prepare designs to be interpreted by embroidery artists in Britain, as the best needlework examples in the collection were foreign. The result was a touring exhibition of work by the Bromley College in London.

The scheme was disbanded in 1961 when funding was withdrawn, although it was recognised that the NDS had achieved its aims. The NDS had amassed 3000 textile items by this time, which were divided and distributed around universities, art schools, organisations and museums including the National Museum of Scotland, the Embroideries Guild and the V&A.

Subject/Index Terms

Art education
Embroidery (visual works)
Publications
Teaching materials
Textiles
The Glasgow School of Art

Administrative Information

Repository: GSA Archives

Access Restrictions: Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment.

Use Restrictions:

Application for permission to quote should be submitted to the Glasgow School of Art Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information: This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.

Related Materials:

When the NDS was disbanded in 1962 the collection was disseminated around Britain. Items from the collection can now be found at the following:

University of Dundee Museum Collections, Dundee, Scotland

Embroiderers' Guild, Surrey, England

National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England

GB 0248 UGD 199: Records of J & P Coats Ltd, cotton thread manufacturers, 1830-1981 (Glasgow University Archive Services)

Processing Information:

Fonds level description compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 11 November 2001. Updated by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 14 May 2002.

Fonds level description added to CALM by Susannah Waters, GSA Archivist, 09 April 2008.

Updated by Kimberly Sommerville, volunteer, 03 April 2009.

Finding Aid Revision History: Catalogue imported into Archon software and edited by Michelle Kaye, Archon Project Officer, May 2014.


Description of Contents

Correspondence of the Needlework Development Scheme in Scotland, 1934-1966,
Examples of International Needlework, 17th century-20th century,
Examples of British Needlework, 16th century-1960,
Images of Needlework Development Scheme objects, c1934-1977,
Inventories and Catalogues of the Needlework Development Scheme collection, c1939-1960,
Publications of the Needlework Development Scheme, c1938-1960s,
NDS-related material, c1929-1998
NDS/PUB, (Series) Publications of the Needlework Development Scheme, c1938-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description: The publications of the Needlework Development Scheme were central to its aims. The two bulletins, "And So to Sew" and "And So to Embroider" published three times a year, were issued free until 1958 until demand led to a charge being levied for orders of over 24 copies. At its height in the 1950s, the scheme spent the current equivalent (2003) of £1 million printing the bulletin and distributing it primarily to school girls as well as other interested parties. Other publications featured accounts of the Scheme's development along with images of selected needleworks or focused on particular themes within the collection, such as Swedish needlework.
Extent: 2 archive boxes
Former Reference: GB 1694 DC 36/3
Reference: NDS/PUB
Arrangement: The publications are arranged chronologically.
Related Material: DC 076/21: There are NDS publications within the Dorothy Smith collection

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/1, (Item) Contemporary Embroideries: Needlework Development in Scotland, 1938 Add to your favourites. 
Description: Booklet illustrating some of the works belonging to the collection acquired by the four central art institutions of Scotland under a scheme for the development of needlework in Scotland.
Extent: 1 volume
Former Reference: GB 1694 DC 36/3/1
Reference: NDS/PUB/1
Custodial History: Previously the property of Kath Whyte. Donated by Crissie White, Nov 2001.

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/2, (Item) Embroideries of Sweden from the collection of Needlework Development Scheme, late 1940s Add to your favourites. 
Description: With foreword by Ulla Kockum.
Extent: 2 copies
Former Reference: GB 1694 DC 36/3/2
Reference: NDS/PUB/2
Related Material: See also: pattern on tracing paper, stored separately.

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme - Kockum, Ulla

NDS/PUB/3, (Item) Needlework Development Scheme: An Account of its Origins and Aims 2nd edition, 1951 Add to your favourites. 
Description: Includes illustrations of hand and machine embroidery purchased from countries throughout the world by the NDS.
Extent: 2 copies
Former Reference: GB 1694 DC 36/3/3
Reference: NDS/PUB/3
Custodial History: 1 copy donated by Liz Arthur.

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/4, (Item) A background to NDS Needlework, 1950s Add to your favourites. 
Description: Booklet published by NDS outlining the origin and aim of the Needlework Development Scheme. Contains both black and white and colour illustrations.
Extent: 4 copies
Reference: NDS/PUB/4
Custodial History: 2 copies donated by Liz Arthur.

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/5, (Folder) And So to Embroider, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. View associated digital content. 
Description: Publication published by NDS. Contains copies of Bulletins 7B-28B, 29-39 (some duplicates).
Extent: 1 archive folder
Reference: NDS/PUB/5
Custodial History: Copies of Bulletins 14B, 15B, 20B, 24B, 29- 37, 39 donated by Liz Arthur.

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/6, (Folder) And So to Sew, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. View associated digital content. 
Description: Publication published by NDS. Contains copies of Bulletins 1-6B, 9A, 13A-15A, 17A, 18A, 20A, 22A-28A (some duplicates).
Extent: 1 archive folder
Reference: NDS/PUB/6

Custodial History: Copy of Bulletin 20A donated by Liz Arthur.

Copies of Bulletins 1-6B, 9A, 13A, 25A-27A donated by Sandy Heffernan.

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/7, (Item) 100 Embroidery Stitches, 1962 Add to your favourites. 
Description: A small book of 100 different embroidery stitiches with text and illustrations.
Reference: NDS/PUB/7
Extent: 1 copy
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/8, (Item) Embroideries from Needlework Development Scheme, 1965 Add to your favourites. 
Description: A catalogue of the embroideries given to the Royal Scottish Museum by the Needlework Development Scheme including lists and images.
Reference: NDS/PUB/8
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 1 copy

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/9, (Item) Experiment in Embroidery Design, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description: A small booklet with examples of experiments in hand and machine embroidery based on the original drawings by Mary Kessell.
Reference: NDS/PUB/9
Extent: 1 copy
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/10, (Item) And So to Furnish, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description: Publication published by NDS with illustrations of different furnishing examples.
Reference: NDS/PUB/10
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 1 copy

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/11, (Item) First Embroidery Stitches, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description: Small booklet illustrating basic embroidery stitches.
Reference: NDS/PUB/11
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 1 copy

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/12, (Folder) Embroidery Stitches, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description: Publications published by NDS. Contains copies of Book No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Reference: NDS/PUB/12
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 5 copies

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/13, (Item) Needlework Development Scheme: A review of the aims and activities of the Needlework Developement Scheme, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description: A small book reviewing the aims and activities of the Needlework Development Scheme, including illustrations.
Reference: NDS/PUB/13
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 1 copy

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/14, (Item) And So to Embroider, 1959 Add to your favourites. 
Description: A publication published by NDS about different embroidery stitches and techniques based on the contents of the Needlework Developement Scheme embroidery bulletins.
Related Material: NDS/PUB/5
Reference: NDS/PUB/14
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 1 copy

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/15, (Folder) NDS Bulletin Packets, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description: A series of four branded packets containing bulletins from the series of NDS publications.
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 4 files
Reference: NDS/PUB/15

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/15/1, (Item) And So to Sew, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description:

A 'And So to Sew' branded packet containing a series of bulletins from the NDS publication series.

Copies of Bulletins include: 1A-11A, 15A, 18A, 20A. 23A, 28A.

Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 1 folder
Reference: NDS/PUB/15/1
Related Material: NDS/PUB/5, NDS/PUB/6

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/15/2, (Item) And So to Embroider, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description:

A 'And So to Embroider' branded packet containing a series of bulletins from the NDS publication series.

Copies of Bulletins include: 15B-25B.

Reference: NDS/PUB/15/2
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 1 folder
Related Material: NDS/PUB/5, NDS/PUB/6

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/15/3, (Item) And So to Embroider, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description:

A 'And So to Embroider' branded packet containing a series of bulletins from the NDS publication series.

Copies of Bulletins include: And So to Sew Embroidery Section 1B-7B, And So to Embroider 8B-14B.

Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 1 folder
Reference: NDS/PUB/15/3
Related Material: NDS/PUB/5, NDS/PUB/6

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

NDS/PUB/15/4, (Item) And So to Embroider, c1940s-1960s Add to your favourites. 
Description:

A 'And So to Embroider' branded packet containing a series of bulletins from the NDS publication series.

Copies of Bulletins include: 26B-29B, 30, 33-38.

Reference: NDS/PUB/15/4
Custodial History: Internal transfer from Glasgow School of Art Library.
Extent: 1 folder
Related Material: NDS/PUB/5, NDS/PUB/6

Creator(s):

The Needlework Development Scheme

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