Hand & Lock

The Hand & Lock logo. The Hand & Lock logo.

Hand & Lock is an embroidery firm based in London, England, which was created in 2001 by the fusion of two embroidery businesses, namely that of M. Hand and S. Lock. These two firms themselves had a long history.

It would appear that a Huguenot lace maker and a refugee from Flanders, known only as M. Hand, set up a company in 1767 called M. Hand & Co, which sold laces and embroideries for the military, royalty and so forth. For this work they were granted a royal warrant. The company continued until the end of the twentieth century. In 1998 M. Hand & Co. was acquired by Alastair Macleod. In 2001 it was merged with the firm of S. Lock.

The firm of Lock has an equally ancient history. In 1898 the company of C.E. Phipps & Co. opened an embroidery house to support the developing London haute couture houses. It too thrived for decades, but in February 1956 it went into voluntary liquidation. In the same year a young designer called Stanley Lock took over the company following the retirement of Mr. Phipps. Shortly afterwards the company was re-named S. Lock Ltd. The company worked with various couture houses, including Hardy Amies, Christian Dior and Norman Hartnell. Royal commissions included garments for Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Mother as well as Princess Anne and Princess Diana. At the same time the company of Lock also produced items for private individuals as well various West End shows, such as Barnum and the Lion King. Their work also included an embroidered Gieves and Hawkes tailcoat for the American artist, Michael Jackson. The coat was made for his late-1980's 'Bad' world tour.

In 2001 Alastair Macleod merged the companies of M. Hand and S. Lock to create Hand & Lock. This ‘new’ company remains dedicated to producing high quality hand embroidery for a wide range of customers, including many fashion designers, such as garments for Mary Katrantzou’s autumn/winter collection of 2014. Hand & Lock also carries out restoration work, especially of embroidered ecclesiastical garments and related items, such as altar coverings, etc. In 2000 a special prize was established by the company to encourage new embroidery designers. The prize is simply called the Hand & Lock Embroidery Prize.

Address: Hand & Lock, 86 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8TE, United Kingdom.

See also Hand & Lock poppy tribute; Hand & Lock embroidery exhibition (2017);  Hidden Within exhibition (London 2015); Paulette Goddard's embroidered dress

Digital sources:

Hand & Lock website (retrieved 15 June 2016).


Last modified on Sunday, 09 May 2021 17:53
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