The ordinances describe the regulations of the guild, its aims and organisation. The latest version of the ordinances were agreed by the Company as at Rowany Festival AS XXXVIII (April 2004).
1.1 The aim of the Worshipful Company of Broderers is to advance the study and practice of pre-1600AD European needlework in Lochac and the Known World.
1.2 The secondary aim of the Company is to recreate as closely as possible a medieval or renaissance guild of embroiderers and encourages research and activities towards this end.
1.3 The Company shall endeavour to encourage all who are interested in needlework. Membership is voluntary and information shall be freely available regardless of membership.
2.1 The Company shall promote any form of needlework which can be demonstrated to have been known and performed in Europe and the Middle East before 1600AD. This includes but is not limited to the following techniques (which may overlap):
- Couching, Laid work
- Beading, Pearling
- Metal thread work, Purl work
- Canvas work, including Slips
- Cross stitch, including Voided work (Assisi)
- Counted Thread work
- Raised work, Padded work
- Whitework (not Hardanger)
- Construction sewing
- Needlemade lace
- Non-counted thread embroidery
2.2 Styles of needlework covered by the Company shall include, but are not limited to
- Coptic embroidery and pre 1000AD work.
- Woolwork e.g. Bayeux Tapestry
- Opus Anglicanum
- Or Nue, Lazurtechnik
- German counted work
- Heraldic Embroidery
- Elizabethan Embroidery
- Canvas work, Table carpets, Slips
- Polychrome Elizabethan Embroidery
- Costume Embroidery
- Embroidery for Household Linens
- Embroidery for Regalia
2.3 Any technique or style of embroidery can be added to the lists in 2.1 and 2.2 if it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the masters of the Company that it was known and practiced in Europe and the Middle East before 1600AD.
2.4 The Company will also promote the use of needlework on any object or for purpose for which it can be demonstrated to have been used in Europe and the Middle East before 1600 AD. Clothing, furnishings and accessories are examples of objects which may be needleworked.
2.5 The Company will also promote the research of techniques and designs typically used in Europe before 1600AD.
3. The Structure of the Company
3.1 The Worshipful Company of Broderers of Lochac aims to base its structure and activities on those of the European embroiderers’ guilds of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, where this is practical and desirable.
3.2 Anyone may become a member of the Company by expressing interest or become a financial member by paying the membership fee, which includes subscription to four issues of the newsletter. Company activities are not limited to financial members.
3.3 Members may also advance through a series of ranks within the company if they wish. The ranks are Apprentice Embroiderer, Journeyman Embroiderer and Master Embroiderer. (Note that the terms Journeyman and Master are based on period practice and do not indicate that women may not hold these ranks. Women were both journeyman and master embroiderers in the Middle Ages.) To avoid confusion with members of the order of the Laurel and their apprentices or journeymen, these terms should only be used with the term ’embroiderer’ or ‘broderer’ after them, and should not be used as a title.
3.3.1 Apprentice Embroiderer
To become an apprentice embroiderer a member of the Company must have submitted a finished and documented piece of embroidery in period style or technique to the masters of the Company and have gained their approval.
3.3.2 Journeyman Embroiderer
A journeyman embroidery will have submitted to the masters of the Company and had approved three pieces of embroidery of journeyman level, with documentation, in different period styles or techniques. Journeyman embroiderers may judge competitions in any of the categories in which they have been deemed proficient.
3.3.3 Master Embroiderer
This level shall be attained when a majority of the current masters of the Company are agreed that a candidate has produced a masterwork in embroidery or an equivalent body of work, usually not less than five pieces of documented embroidery in different period styles or techniques, of a high standard of artisanship. They should also be familiar with a broad range of the styles and techniques of embroidery of the period, should be able to impart their knowledge to others. Anyone who has been awarded a Laurel primarily for embroidery will automatically be considered a Master Embroiderer.
The Guildmaster of the Company will be elected by a majority of master embroiderers from among their number.
It is not necessary for anyone to be ranked to be able to participate in Company activities, apart from judging the competitions. Competition entries are not automatically considered to be submissions for ranking.
3.3.6 Ranking of works may be undertaken at any time by any Master of the Company. If distance is a problem, then photographic evidence of work is acceptable, but members should send the actual work where possible. Changes to Company ranks will only take effect once the grading is passed to the Guildmaster to be entered into the Company records.
3.3.7 The Company badge may be worn by all members. The Company badge is Gules, two pairs of closed scissors in saltire Or registered to the Principality of Lochac on 1/9/87.
The Company will hold four competitions each year at the four Kingdom events. The categories for the competitions will be set by the Guildmaster and announced eighteen months in advance of the event at which the competition will be held, e.g. the category for Spring Coronet will be announced at or before May Crown of the preceeding year. It is preferable that all categories for a year be announced at once. Newsletter articles relating to a competition should be published a year before the date of the competition.
4.1 Categories for the competitions may include any technique or style approved by the Company. They may also include categories of embroidered objects (e.g. embroidered purses or pouches) or test other skills such as embroidering from a period pattern, or focus on the embroidery of a particular time or place. A competition category may also focus on research rather than practical work. Members of the Company are encouraged to suggest categories for future competitions.
4.2 Each entry in a competition will be judged and awarded a score. Points will be awarded for documentation, use of sources, technique, use of materials and presentation as they pertain to the period style of the piece.
4.3 There is no minimum number of entries for a competition to be held.
4.4 Documentation is not required for competitions, but entries which include it are likely to score higher.
4.5 The person who has accumulated most points over the period of a year will be named as Needlework Champion of Lochac. Needleworkers may enter more than once for each competition, but only the marks from their highest scoring piece will be entered towards the Championship.
4.6 It is not necessary to enter every competition in a year to be competitive for the Championship. It is possible that someone who has entered a few high scoring pieces will accumulate a higher score than someone who has entered a larger number of pieces which have scored less well.
5. Annual Meeting and Duties
5.1 A general review of the Company shall be conducted at the Rowany Festival each year.
5.2. A report on the Company for the previous year compiled by the Guildmaster shall be presented to the King and Queen of Lochac and the Lochac Minister of Arts by Midwinter Coronation.
5.3 Each reign, the Company shall make a presentation of embroidery to the King and Queen. The item or items being presented must be inspected and approved by the Guildmaster or his/her representative before presentation.
5.4 The Masters of the Company should regularly review the ranking standards of the Company to ensure consistency and quality.
6. Company Officers
(The title of Guildmaster reflects period practice and may be held by a man or a woman.)
Duties include the organization of panel to examine the work of applicants to the various Company rankings; organising the Company competitions; liaising with the Lochac Minister of Arts on the needlework category of the Lochac Arts and Sciences Championship Competition; keeping a current list of members and their ranks; reporting on the above points and other Company activities to the Lochac Mister of Arts; and preparing a final report for inclusion in the MoA/S Doomsday Report.
6.2 Company Chronicler
To be responsible for the Company publication.
6.3 Company Web Minister
To be responsible for the maintenance of the Company’s web page. This position may be held by the Company Chronicler if appropriate.
6.3 Company Patron
A member of the peerage, preferably royal peerage, with an interest in fostering needlework in Lochac, willing to donate prizes for competitions.
7. Company Ordinances
Any change in these ordinances may be made by the majority of Master embroiderers. Any member of the Company may present evidence for a change to the ordinances.