About the AGWSD
The Association (AGWSD) is a registered charity founded in 1955 with the aim of helping bring together the community of craft Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Rather than set up another organisation for individual craft people we chose the path of becoming an Association of Guilds - an umbrella body to which regional or local Guilds are affiliated. The aim is to support those regional Guilds by operating at a larger scale with National Conferences, National Exhibitions, Competitions, publications and recognised qualifications certifying individuals' high level of achievement and competence in their chosen craft.
We now have over 100 member Guilds representing over 5000 crafts-people.
The AGWSD now offers a comprehensive list of support services to guilds and their individual members including:
- The Journal - our quarterly magazine.
- The National Conference - held biennially over a long weekend and featuring a programme of inspirational speakers, all experts in their chosen fields. This has, in the past, included an AGM where all member Guilds have their say about the running of the Association. From 2019 the AGM will take place separately in London each year.
- The National Exhibition - also held biennially - not just to inspire you and show off your own achievements but also to introduce the public to our crafts with practical demonstrations and workshops. The 2020 Exhibition will be held at Leigh Spinners Mill in Lancashire and will be titled Coal, Cotton and Canals. For further information please click here.
- Summer School - A biennial week of hands-on tuition from expert crafts-persons, optionally residential. Summer School 2019's Brochure and draft Student Handbook can be downloaded from this link; and the Summer School website can be accessed by clicking here.
- The COA and CATS - Courses - Certificate of Achievement and Certificate in Advanced Textile Studies in your chosen craft.
- The Foundation Certificates - Foundation Spin is up and running with other craft area foundation courses being developed.
- Development of education - We are currently developing further support and possible qualifications for each of the covered craft areas.
- Visible presence - at textile shows such as Wonderwool Wales, Woolfest and the Knitting and Stitching Shows. We also act as an umbrella organisation to try and keep our crafts in the public eye; to give individual guilds and guild members the chance to interact and meet other people around the country who are of a like mind.
- The WIP (Web Information Point) - a repository of documents especially useful to Guild Secretaries and members. Health and safety contract forms for students, speakers and workshop tutors are just a few examples of many dozens of ready made documents to help ease your administration overhead.
- The Newsletter - to keep you up to date with upcoming events.
- The Stuart Groom Memorial Library - This fabulous and unique resource of over 400 books, pamphlets, magazines and DVDs is ONLY available to Guild members. Items can be loaned on an 8-week basis for just the price of return postage and packaging, plus 50p per book! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Find a guild or crafts person - the AGWSD acts as contact point for anyone wanting to find a regional Guild to join or needing services in specific category of craft.
- Insurance - we provide public liability insurance for all member Guild activities and information on further cover if guilds require this. You can find a copy of this on the WIP.
- And of course, this web site!