Lochac’s Worshipful Company of Broiderers (WCoB) is a group comitted to advancing the study and practice of pre-17th century needlework. As at September AS 50 (2015), the Guild had 56 ranked members, consisting of 7 Master Broiderers, 13 Journeyman and 36 Apprentices. As well as a Guild website, WCoB is present in a facebook group and periodic newsletter.
The Guild was originally known as the Lochac Needleworkers Guild, started by Lady Marit the Wanderer in AS XXI (1987). This was active for several years before closing. The Guild was resurected in its new form by Mistress Bess Haddon of York and Mistress Keredwin the Mouse in AS XXXII (1998).
This Guild has had two registered badges. The first was blazoned:
Gules, two pairs of closed scissors in saltire or.
The current badge, as lodged to the Laurel Sovereign of Arms in April 2004, is blazoned:
Gules, a chevron cotised, three pairs of shears or.
WCoB has many different functions within the Kingdom, including (but not limited to):
The Guild offers a 3-tiered membership ranking system, with ranks being achieved by submitting embroidery (as outlined in the Guild Ordances) and being graded on various aspects for each level by one of the Master Broiderers. The ranks, in ascending order, are:
Apprentice – have presented at least one work at apprentice level or above.
Journeyman – have presented 3 works in different techniques at journeyman level or above.
Master Broiderer – have presented 5 works in different techniques at master level, or have been recognised by the Order of the Laurel for embroidery.
At each Crown event (i.e. Crown Tournaments and Coronations), WCoB runs embroidery competitions. The list of competitions and winners are published on the Guild website, along with the judging criteria. Anyone can enter these competitions – they are not restricted to Guild members.
For each Reigning Crown of Lochac, WCoB manages the creation of a personalised embroidered gift from the Guild. The Guildmaster (i.e. head of the Guild) asks each Crown for their preferences and volunteers work on designing and embroidering these pieces, which are presented in Court. The list and images of various presentation pieces made by WCoB are available online.
The Guild has co-ordinated many long-term embroidery projects to add to Kingdom Regalia and award tokens, created by a number of volunteers. These projects include:
Lochac’s Laurel Cloak – predominatly inspired by the goldwork and design observed on the 11th century Sternenmantel of Heinrich II, WCoB created a green silk cloak with goldworked patches (depicting laurel wreaths and the various arts and crafts of the Laurels of Lochac). This cloak is used in Laurel ceremonies when new members are elevated to the Order.
Lochac’s Pelican Cloak – the design of this cloak is based on many extant copes and mantles that show a series of motifs in a structured framework. This cloak is used in Pelican ceremonies when new members are elevated to the Order, and depicts the device of each member in order of ascension.
WCoB Guild Banner – WCoB embroidered a banner based on the design of an extant banner from an Italian merchant town, probably dated to the mid-15th century, depicted in Neubecker. When the Guild makes presentations in Court, the banner is included in the presentation to denote WCoBs presence.
Royal Cloaks – in honour of the Coronation of the first King and Queen of Lochac, WCoB designed and embroidered a pair of matching ceremonial cloaks in the style of the Mantle of Christ and The Syon Cope.
Royal Carpet – in honour of the Coronation of the first King and Queen of Lochac, WCoB designed and embroidered a kneeling carpet for Court. The design was based on carpets portrayed in several works by Holbein and Lotto.