National Needlework Archive

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The Old Chapel Textile Centre in Newbury, home of the National Needlework Archive, offer courses, workshops and exhibitions in sewing, haberdashery,  needlecraft, textiles, embroidery, cross stitch, quilting and textile art. Our shop carries an extensive range of all needlework and sewing products including fabric, threads, wool, zips and patterns. We have an archive of historic textiles and patterns and are home to The Country Wife mural.

National Needlework Archive

Country Wife Mural

National Needlework Archive in Newbury. The national record of textiles in the UK. Home of the Country Wife Mural - Contance Howard's mural made for the 1951 Festival of Britain

Archives and Study Collection

The NNA specialises in community textiles. We keep records of textiles, an extensive reference library and a textile collection

Conservation of the  Country Wife  Mural  - made for the  Festival of Britain  1951

Designed by Constance Howard, and made by her and some of her students at Goldsmiths College, the mural now resides at the National Needlework Archive

The Conservation Room is now open.  Talks about The Country Wife take place at  

11am and 2.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays,  and at 11am only on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

The Old Chapel Textile Centre is a voluntary community project providing space for needlework and textile courses, workshops, exhibitions, conferences and events and is the home of the National Needlework Archive and the 'Country Wife' mural circa 1951.

The  National Needlework Archive (NNA) was founded in 1998 as a charity and moved to The Old Chapel, Greenham Business Park, Newbury, in 2010. The chapel offers a great work space,educational space, as well as housing a growing collection of historical needlecraft items and database.

We aim to include all areas of the community in education and promotion of all aspects of needlecraft and textile art.

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Old Chapel Textile Centre

National Needlework Archive in Newbury. The national record of textiles in the UK.

Current opening times for
The Old Chapel:

Tuesdays and Thursdays
10am to 4pm

Wednesdays and the first Saturday of each month from 10am to 1pm

Poetry in Stitches 2021
Click here to see the Gallery

JOB VACANCY - The NNA is opening a ‘pop up’ shop in Northbrook Street, Newbury to sell recycled needlecraft items and books.  The shop will be open five days a week being Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 4pm each day.

We are looking for two new staff members to work two days per week each at the shop to cover four of our five opening days including Fridays and Saturdays.  We would especially welcome applicants with retail experience and an interest in sewing or other related crafts.  

Initially for a period of six months, the jobs are based in Newbury town centre.  The NNA is a textile art charity and the shop will be selling donated items of a specialist needle/craft nature such as fabric and haberdashery.  It will also be selling kits, books, rug making items, and some new promotional items relating to the NNA.  Guest artists will be displaying and selling their work. The positions require each person to take responsibility for running the shop for two days per week.  

Responsibilities will include supervising volunteers, stock display and control, cash handling, customer service, maintaining health and safety and cleanliness procedures, and other retail tasks as they arise.

Hours: 9.45am to 4.15pm two days per week.  Pay: Up to £6023 per annum pro rata. Initially for a period of twenty-six weeks.

Applications by phone in the first instance on 01635 38740.  Subsequently, completed applications letters and references will be required by email to nat.n.a@live.co.uk.  

Closing date for completed applications: Friday 1st October 2021.

The NNA team is cheerful, welcoming, and flexible.  This is an exciting new project with great possibilities and we would love to hear from you if you are committed, creative, and reliable.  There is a disabled staff toilet and ramp on the ground floor; stair access to the first floor of the premises.

WE WILL ALSO NEED VOLUNTEERS to help us in this venture and if you are interested in giving us a few hours a week to work in a cheerful, creative environment, we would love to hear from you. Call 01635 38740 or email us on   octc@live.com

Volunteers may assist with - customer service, stock display and control, preparation of needle/craft items for sale, helping in the bookshop (first floor), or any of the other tasks involved with running a specialist shop; including the repair and cleaning of vintage sewing machines for re-sale (first floor). In the first instance the bookshop will be selling books of a general nature as well as textile books. There is a disabled staff toilet and ramp on the ground floor; stair access to the first floor of the premises.

Saturday 2nd October: We are returning to our First Saturday of the Month opening times  therefore The Old Chapel Textile Centre will be open from 10am to 4pm.

Saturday 9th October: OCTC will be open from 10am to 1pm.

After that date The Old Chapel Textile Centre will be open on the first Saturday of each month when there will be a full programme of events including free demonstrations in the mornings at 10:30am.

Tuesdays and Thursdays remain as is: Open 10.00am to 4.00pm and Wednesdays from 10.00am to 1.00pm

From Saturday 16th October shoppers will find a great range of our donated needlecraft items for sale at The Green Sewing Shop located at 21 Northbrook Street, Newbury RG 14 1DJ.

The Rag Rug Christmas Wreath Workshop on Saturday 20th November will now take place at The Green Sewing Shop.