✿ My Love of Textiles and Stitchery ✿
I have always felt at home with textiles and stitchery, starting out making dolls clothes on my mother’s
‘wind-the-handle’ Singer sewing machine, enjoying art and needlework at school, and then studying for an honours degree in Fashion Textile Design with business studies at the University of Brighton, from where I graduated in 1984. At college I was interested in colour and specialised in woven textiles. I loved making weave patterns that tricked the eye into thinking the design was something it wasn’t. I won the prestigious Sir Frank Warner
Memorial Medal given by the Royal Society of Arts for the ‘Best Textile Design’ for a range of colour and
weave patterns that looked and felt like Fairisle knitting. I also won a coveted RSA Travel Bursary, which enabled me to travel to the museums and art galleries of Europe.
After graduating, I pursued a career in retail buying in London with Heals and Simpson’s of Piccadilly, before
returning to weaving and designing on a consultancy basis. My husband’s job relocated our young family from Berkshire to Lancashire in 1994, and I began renovating our farmhouse.
As our son got older, I taught design in the local college before returning to my first love of embroidery. What
started out as a hobby; making cards for family and friends has grown into a small business.
I feel truly fortunate that now I can indulge my passion for embroidery whilst creating the most beautiful,
tactile, luxurious stitched images possible for my cards.
Designed and handmade with love in Lancashire, England by Elspeth Tomson ✿ Elspeth Thomson Designs ✿ July 2012 ✿
Starting in a very small way in 2003 we have built up a little business servicing a loyal and growing number of
UK customers. All designs are created by Elspeth in a purpose built studio in her farmhouse home, itself
converted from a sixteenth-century cow shed. In Lancashire, this is called a Shippon.
The cards are hand-made by a small and dedicated team, and every design features a unique embroidery
using a variety of artistic techniques including: appliqué, machine embroidery and fabric painting. Elspeth
also loves metallic fabrics and iridescent and transparent organzas. Many designs feature a combination of
Elspeth often designs a background for a card that is made with intricate free-machine embroidery, the
print is then embelished with hand painted glitter, bows and ribbons.
All the cards are printed in our own studio. As a small UK business we offer our customers a flexible and personalised service. Our cards are mounted on board manufactured in The Lake District from 100% elemental chlorine free
pulp from FSC credit certified timber. We currently use a silk weave textured 350gsm ivory board, to create a luxurious tactile feel.
Each greeting card is presented with a top quality, substantial envelope to protect the precious
contents. We then wrap them in a high quality 40 micron clear cellophane bag.
We now retail in three different ways :-
1. Through our website direct to customers who can place orders, personalised with their own choice of
2. Through agents selling to some of the UK’s largest and most prestigious department stores,
independant card retailers and galleries. These wholesale customers can also personalise the wording on
Our latest venture is into the world of entirely printed cards. So far we have had a great response to our little range, called "sculptured stitches", so we look forward to developing more designs for this range.