Graphical version

University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion

Shoreditch College for the Garment Trades


Reference code(s): GB 2159 Shoreditch

Held at: University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion

Title: Shoreditch College for the Garment Trades

Date(s): [1904]-1967

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 1 filing cabinet drawer of papers

Name of creator(s): Shoreditch Technical Institute Girls Trade School
Shoreditch College for the Garment Trades
Shoreditch College for the Clothing Industry


Administrative/Biographical history:

Shoreditch Technical Institute founded a Girls Trade School in 1906 to train girls for the garment trades. The school offered trade courses in dressmaking, embroidery and upholstery and was set up by the London County Council Technical Education Board. During the nineteenth century both skilled men and women employed in the clothing industry earned their trade through an apprenticeship, but by the end of the century the system was not training sufficient workers and trade schools were established to provide more skilled labour.

Pupils were taken from the age of 12 following elementary education, and were trained for two years to work primarily in London's West End couturier houses and hair salons. Women were employed in the ready-to-wear trade centred on London's East End, or in the fashionable dressmaking and allied trades in the West End based around the South Kensington and Oxford Street areas. Women working in this area were highly skilled, and the early needle-trade schools in London, including Shoreditch, trained women for this high quality couture work. Almost all pupils obtained employment on completion of their courses. All pupils followed a curriculum that was two-thirds trade subject and one-third general education. Following the success of the full time courses the school started to run a variety of day release and evening courses for women already working in the trade. The school worked very closely with the trades and had consultative committees that were almost exclusively made up of members from the industries. These committees advised in the suitability of courses for the prevailing employment conditions in the clothing industry at the time, and courses were introduced or adapted accordingly. For example, with the developments in clothing mass production the consultative committees introduced further wholesale classes at Shoreditch

The 1944 Education Act required pupils to continue full time general education until 15 and gave Shoreditch technical college status. The junior courses were discontinued and senior courses expanded. Management courses were introduced. Shoreditch merged with Clapham Trade School and became Shoreditch College for the Garment Trades in 1955, including men on their courses. Renamed Shoreditch College for the Clothing Industry in 1966, the college amalgamated with Barrett Street Technical College (formerly Barrett Street Trade School) in 1967 to form the London College for the Garment Trades, later renamed the London College of Fashion.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Shoreditch College for the Garment Trades, formerly Shoreditch Technical Institute Girls Trade School, [1904]-1967, comprising staff register, [1904]-1922, giving name, details of previous appointments and starting and leaving dates; school rolls, giving names of students, 1948-1961; syllabuses, 1967; examination papers, 1967; examination results, 1961-1965; summary detail of classes, 1949-1965; minutes and papers of the Publicity sub-committee, 1958; papers concerning a ministry inspection of Shoreditch College, undated; annual report, 1964-1965; prospectuses, 1929-1967; photographs of students and press cuttings, 1949-1955; papers and press cuttings relating to Shoreditch Technical Institute, 1949-1955; photographs of prizegivings, 1954-1963; programmes for shows and plays, 1950s; Shoreditch Girls Junior Technical School visitors' book, containing visiting cards left by visitors, 1910.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The records are unsorted.

Conditions governing access:

Access to the collection is by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying is permitted although photographs may be taken at the discretion of the Head of Learning Resources.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

The records are uncatalogued.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired on the merger of the Shoreditch College into the London College of Fashion.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Many of the photographs have been digitised and are on the Visual Arts Data Service website:

Related material:

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: Sources: Couture or Trade: An early pictorial record of the London College of Fashion Helen Reynolds (Phillimore & Co Ltd, Chichester, 1997). Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: July 2002

Clothing | Textiles
Fashion | Customs and traditions | Cultural heritage
Photographs | Visual materials
Textile arts | Handicrafts
Vocational schools | Higher education institutions | Educational institutions
Vocational training | Training
Women students | Students
Women teachers | Teachers | Educational personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Technical education
Vocational education

Personal names

Corporate names
Shoreditch College for the Clothing Industry
Shoreditch College for the Garment Trades
Shoreditch Technical Institute Girls Trade School

Shoreditch | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe