National Needlework Archive

For day to day, special, and up to date information, such as closures due to bad weather etc., please click here to go onto our Facebook page.

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.

 Activity Saturdays at The Old Chapel Textile Centre


Saturday 6th July


10.30am. to 11am Free Demonstration - Wired, covered, and folded Funky Headbands are all the go for summer and are so easy to make. Come and see how they are made then have a go yourself in the Activity hour. Can also be used as bracelets and pony tail scrunchies.

11am to 12noon – Activity – Make a funky headband in your choice of fabric. Tuition and materials included. £3.00

1.30pm to 3.30pm – Sewing Afternoon. Bring along your own project or join in a group activity.  £4.00 includes tea/coffee


Saturday 3rd August

CROCHET DAY  We have a lovely exhibition of freeform crochet on at the moment so we are having a crochet love-in.

10.30am to 11am. Free Demonstration - What is freeform crochet and how do you do it?  Get tips on creating your own designs and how to be free from constraining patterns.

Structured teaching workshop on freeform crochet available this afternoon – see workshops page.

11am to 12noon – Activity -  Learn basic crochet. Cost – £3.00 each. Materials provided.

1.30pm to 3.30pm – Sewing Afternoon. Bring along your own project or join in a group activity.  £4.00 includes tea/coffee

Saturday 7th September


10.30am to 11am. Free Demonstration. - Lace

A member of Newbury Lace Group will be demonstrating a lace making technique

11am to 12noon – Activity – Have a go at making lace. Lace pillows and bobbins will be set up for you to just come and have a try. Cost – £3.00 each

Structured teaching workshop for absolute beginners and children available this afternoon – see workshops page.

1.30pm to 3.30pm – Sewing Afternoon. Bring along your own project or join in a group activity.  £4.00 includes tea/coffee

Saturday 5th October Sunday 6th October October


Something different this year!  We shall be featuring our ‘SHOP’ where instead of separate stalls we shall have all sorts of craft items, food and drink etc. from lots of different crafts people displayed as a wonderful mixed and colourful shopping emporium.  Each yday there will be different crafts being demonstrated; hot punch (non-alchoholic!) and bites; or coffee and cake; children’s story times on Saturday and Sunday; crafters to chat to; and loads of lovely gifts to browse amongst.  Christmas comes early to The Old Chapel as we close for the winter in early December so do come and celebrate with us – Enjoyable, calm, peaceful and cozy – just what old fashioned shopping used to be. Don’t Miss It.  

Open 10am to 4pm

Saturday 2nd November

To complement our exhibition of Project Linus Quilts we are having an exciting day of quilting activities to promote this scheme. All free – do come along and join in

10.30am to 11am. Free Talk by Lillian King. Tbc.  Come and learn all about the Project Linus organization, its  beginnings, its progress, and how you can take part.

11am to 3.30pm – All day Activity. Come and join in making quilts for Project Linus. All abilities welcome.  Free.

Bring a packed lunch and stay all day!

Saturday 7th December


10.30am to 11am. Free Demonstration. - Christmas Folded Hexagons.  See how easy it is to make these lovely folded units with so many creative uses.

11am to 12 noon – Activity.  Christmas Folded Hexagons. Have a go and get addicted to this technique .  Cost £3.00 includes materials.

1.30pm to 3.30pm – Last sewing afternoon of the season.  Come and take a couple of hours out of the pre-Christmas rush to complete your unfinished projects.  £4.00 includes tea/coffee.

We close for the winter period at 4pm today but we re-open at 10am on Saturday 1st February 2020.  Happy Christmas!


Saturday July to December 2019

The OCTC is open on the first Saturday of every month (except January) from 10am until 4pm.

The exhibitions are open and the conservation room may be open too.  

AND every month we do creative and exciting stuff. Do join us – just come along and have a go!


Accompanied children over 6 years are welcome to the free demonstrations and to the activities where indicated but under 10’s are limited to one per adult due to the nature of the activities.

Please note the Main Street gate to the business park is closed on Saturdays. Entry to the site is via Albury Way at the next roundabout in the Newbury direction. Plenty of free parking

Here’s our ACTIVITY SATURDAY programme from July to December 2019 although do check our Facebook page (Old Chapel Textile Centre) for up to the minute additions or alterations. Please phone if you have specific questions.

Workshops and classes are listed separately on the Workshops page.