Sponsored Students

Each year Madeira offers a sponsorship programme to UK university students studying in their final year of a BA Hons Embroidery or Embroidery related course. The Sponsorship allows students to choose a selection of Madeira threads and accessories. Sponsored Students may also be invited to display their work at exhibitions or on Madeira’s social media platforms.

N.B. 2021/22 sponsorship has now closed  

 Students will be advised if sponsorship has been granted by the beginning of December

From successful candidates we require acknowledgement of the Madeira Sponsorship by displaying a provided Madeira sign when any work is on public display. At the end of the final year, we also request a short report which should include how their objectives were reached, and achievements and details of any work placements. A few photographs of their work would be appreciated and may be used in Madeira’s literature or social media.

If you have any questions about the sponsorship program, please contact: education@madeira.co.uk

Many previous Madeira Sponsored Students are running very successful businesses, or have gained excellent employment in prestigious fashion or textile related companies and we feel very honoured to have been involved in assisting the students’ development.

Claire Edwards


Defiant embroidery says…

“I received sponsorship from Madeira in 2016 to support my final year of my Textile Surfaces degree following a competitive application process, this in itself gives students an insight and experience of the processes of applying for support, grants and jobs post education. For my final year I had chosen to specialise in hand embroidery and had also entered the Hand & Lock Prize for Embroidery so the support I received from Madeira was invaluable. The choice of threads that I was able to access helped me to experiment with different weights and types of threads before deciding on my final choice of metallic threads. The process of ordering the threads was simple and the staff supportive and knowledgeable.

At the end of my final year I exhibited at New Designers and also won 2nd Prize at the Hand and Lock prize for Embroidery in the Student Fashion Category 2017 for my dress and Phoenix –  rising from the ashes. At both of these events I was able to talk to staff from Madeira who were interested in seeing how their threads had been used. 


Since graduating I have undertaken a 3 year Masters Degree by Negotiated Study in Contemporary Embroidery where I have specialised in mixed media hand embroidery working with non conventional materials such as resin and concrete and combining this with embroidery. This year I was also privileged to win 2 First Prizes in the Bradford Textiles Competition for hand embroidery (Devastated Coral) and non conventional processes & materials (Substratum). I am currently a self employed hand embroidery artist being supported by the Be Inspired at Staffordshire University business start up programme and outside the pandemic, give talks to groups such as Embroiderers Guild.”

View Claire’s website

Ruby Bannister


Ruby Bannister is a mixed media textile designer for surface innovation and recent graduate from Arts University Bournemouth with a First Class BA(Hons) Degree in Textiles. Ruby has a passion for surface quality exploration, specialising int CAD Embroidery, digital print and laser cutting. She uses her attention to colour and multiple textile processes to generate movement within her collections for luxury fashion.

Ruby is honoured to have been awarded a Madeira threads student sponsorship for her final graduate collection embroideries and was part of the bursary winning team for AUB Innovation x Lush collaboration. She has also exhibited at The Festival of Quilts with the Quilters Guild in July 2021 and New Designers Online. Ruby is currently seeking work within the Textile industry and is excited for the next chapter.

View Ruby’s website

Claire Simpson


I recently graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a First Class BA (Hons) in Textile Design, specialising in embroidery. My graduate collection, ‘Colour Burst’, was inspired by the way that nature interacts with and softens the built environment and comprised a series of colourful and tactile textiles for interiors.

I used Madeira Frosted Matt and Burmilana threads to create bold depictions of geometric and organic forms, and as a structural element to build surface texture. I am now establishing my own business, creating pieces for interiors and fashion, and seeking commissions and collaborations to create surface design in a range of contexts.

View Claire’s website

Rosie Hickman


I was really grateful to be awarded the sponsorship, it was so lovely to be noticed and supported by Madeira, especially with such practical help of being given new threads, that as a student I wouldn’t usually have been able to afford. The sponsorship was wonderful as I choose the box of colourful polyester threads which I still use for my hand embroidery now. I often work in miniature and so the fine nature of the thread and the beautiful sheen they have help to create shadow, depth, and detail in my work.

I can create intricate details without having to pull apart the ‘usual’ embroidery thread spools. I love the quality and the subtle variations in tone that Madeira offer. It also helped me to feel supported at New Designers as I felt I had been recognised in a sea of embroidery!

I work part time at a digital embroidery company where we also really rate the metallic threads for our digital machines which sometimes struggle with other brands.

The sponsorship really made a difference to my work at Falmouth University.

View Rosie’s website

© Madeira 2022