Folder NDS/PUB/6 - And So to Sew

Key Information

Reference code



And So to Sew


  • c1940s-1960s (Creation)

Level of description



1 archive folder

Content and Structure

Scope and content

Publication published by NDS on how to sew various textile activities.
Contains copies of Bulletins 1-6B, 8A, 9A, 13A-15A, 17A-28A. All comprise of 2 copies other than 8A, 13A, and 15A, which only contain one version.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.


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General Information

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Needlework Development Scheme (NDS) was a collaborative project between art and design education and industry. Originally established in Scotland in 1934, its aim was to encourage embroidery and to raise the standard of design in Britain.
Financed by J and P Coats, the thread manufacturers, the Scheme was organised by the four Scottish art schools, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Its collection of foreign and British embroidery was available to domestic science and training colleges, women's institutions and schools, as well as art schools. By 1939, the Scheme had acquired some 900 embroideries but the outbreak of WWII closed the Scheme and the collection was retained by the four original art schools.
Glasgow School of Art was instrumental in re-starting the Scheme late in 1944. Its aims were the same as its predecessor, but expanded its remit to include other arts schools in the United Kingdom where embroidery was taught.In the years following the WWII, the Scheme became centralised and staffed with a qualified embroidery expert, a secretary and several practitioners. The Scheme commissioned the British designer Mary Kessell to prepare designs to be interpreted by embroidery artists in Britain, as the best needlework examples in the collection were foreign. The result was a touring exhibition of work by the Bromley College in London.
The scheme was disbanded in 1961 when funding was withdrawn, although it was recognised that the NDS had achieved its aims. The NDS had amassed 3000 textile items by this time, which were divided and distributed around universities, art schools, organisations and museums including the National Museum of Scotland, the Embroideries Guild and the V&A.

Archival history

Custodial history

Copy of Bulletin 20A donated by Liz Arthur.

Copies of Bulletins 1-6B, 9A, 13A, 25A-27A donated by Sandy Heffernan.

Copies of Bulletins 3B, 4B, 5B, 6B, 19A and 21A donated by Sue Stewart, Mar 2023.

Copies of Bulletins 8A, 18A, 19A, 21A, 23A, and 24A donated by Sheena Reid in Feb 2018.

Physical Description and Conditions of Use

Conditions governing access

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment. For further details, please refer to our Access Policy @

Conditions governing reproduction

Application for permission to reproduce should be submitted to The Archives and Collections at The Glasgow School of Art.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of material.

For further details, please refer to our Reprographic Service Guide @

Language of material

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Language and script notes

Physical Description

Paper with ink

Dimensions: 280 x 216 mm when closed
Dimensions: 280 x 431 mm when opened

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Existence and location of copies

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Processing information

Catalogued by Ella Grad-Arndt, work placement, Apr 2023


  • English



Accession area