News. Future Atelier workshops

3rd of March, 2022

As part of a clear pathway from novices in sewing to accomplished industry-ready artisan, those undertaking education and training programmes can access tuition at all levels and at any age.

Our Future Atelier series of day-long workshops allows school pupils to learn and hone their skills in manufacturing of garments and products to an industry standard as well as utilising a range of textile techniques from hand-knitting to weaving and embroidery under the guidance of our experienced tutors.

For school-leavers and adult learners looking to gain the skillset and speed that appeals to prospective employers in the fashion and textiles industry, we run training programmes, often subsidised, in areas such as batch production. On completion, many of our graduates can generate the requisite level of quality and efficiency that renders them an asset to companies on the lookout for specialist makers.

Our high-level programme The Modern Artisan is now in its second year having launched to international acclaim in 2019, with design and manufacturing artisans creating a luxury fashion collection featuring 14 garments retailed on global platforms which swiftly sold out. The programme is the result of a partnership between The Prince’s Foundation and worldwide online retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter (YNAP) and sees artisans from Italy and the UK working collaboratively on the design and manufacture of the collection.

Among the inaugural Modern Artisan graduates was Tracey Whalen from the nearby town of Ayr, close to Dumfries House, headquarters of The Prince’s Foundation. With increased experience and confidence stemming from the programme, she now works as a Future Textiles tutor at Dumfries House and mentors aspiring artisans by passing on her knowledge to pupils attending Future Textiles and our adult community programmes.

There are few people better qualified to describe from the perspective of student or tutor the benefits behind The Prince’s Foundation’s fashion and textiles offering.

“The past couple of years have felt surreal,” explains Tracey. “There have been times where I’ve had to pinch myself. I enrolled on The Modern Artisan straight after gaining a first-class honours degree in Fashion Design and Production, and my plan was to further develop my technical production skills."

“Working at Dumfries House estate and having the opportunity to work with beautiful fabrics such as cashmere and silk has been like a dream. The Modern Artisan gave me the opportunity to hone my skills, learn to work as part of an international team and experience the beginning-to-end process of designing and making a sustainable, luxury collection. Having a suit I made featuring in Vogue was the icing on the cake for me."

“I’ve been lucky to continue to work in the industry by working on private commissions for clients looking for garment design and manufacture, mainly in the area of coats and outerwear. By combining that work with my teaching role at Dumfries House, I’m creating a direct link between industry and the artisans of tomorrow, and can talk authoritatively to our students about the pathways that exist for them to progress. Clearly, there needs to exist sufficient desire and talent in individuals to follow that pathway into what is a very demanding and in-demand fashion world, but my fellow graduates and I have shown that you can carve out a place in the industry and the training exists here to allow you to do that.”

For information on The Prince’s Foundation’s education and training programmes in fashion and textiles, email Future Textiles manager Ashleigh Douglas at ashleigh.douglas@princes-foundation.org