Alison Larkin is one of the UK's foremost experts in historical embroidery and costume. As a practising embroiderer, she explores traditional embroidery methods and researches the use of embroidery on costume, particularly in the Georgian period. Her current research is embroidery on men’s waistcoats during the eighteenth century.
Alison lectures on various aspects of needlework and has given recent talks at Fairfax House in York, the Society of Antiquaries in London, the University of Warwick, the Association of Dress Historians Annual Conference and for the podcast Stitchery Stories. She regularly runs classes and workshops on and demonstrations of traditional hand embroidery, both at her studio in Hull and elsewhere. She has won many awards and written for the journals Costume and The Journal of Dress History. Recent projects include her re-creation of the waistcoat stitched for Captain James Cook by his wife, Elizabeth, while he was on his third voyage (1776–1779). Her particular skill is in simplifying complex patterns and making them accessible to a new generation of modern stitchers.
Alison's awards include: The Olga Stokes Cup for Ecclesiastical Embroidery (2003); the Maggie Judges Trophy for Flower Embroidery (2011); the Yorkshire and The Humber Challenge Cup (2012); and in 2013 the Constance Howard Award for Hand Embroidery (Embroiderers' Guild Members Challenge: National Competition).
She is working on her first book.
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