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 crafts persons 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, 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 also includes the AGM where all member Guilds have their say about the running of the Association. On alternate years, the AGM is held on a Saturday in London.
- 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.
- Summer School - A biennial week of hands-on tuition from expert crafts-persons, optionally residential.
- The COA - Certificate of Achievement in your chosen craft.
- 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 Online Guild - providing support to craftspersons who are not conveniently located to join a regional guild or are perhaps housebound.
- The WIP (Web Information Point) - a repository of documents especially useful to Guild Secretaries. 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 Association Library (formerly the Journal Library) now located in Textile Department, Freeman College, Stirling Works, 88 Arundel Street, Sheffield S1 2NG. Please email the librarian firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to make enquiries. A catalogue is available here. Library borrowing can be conducted by post.
- The Calendar - A high quality annual calendar featuring photos of members' projects.
- 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.
- And of course, this web site!