Notes and photographs by and about Alice Hindson

Scope and Content

Manuscript biography of Alice Hindson by Carole Keats and accounts of interviews with her; two notebooks of weave notations, notes and fabric snippets from a visit to Lyon in 1963; notes about the terminology of spinning and weaving; a drawing [by AH] of H.M.S. Victory; and photographs of AH, of Luther Hooper, of drawlooms, of 'silks woven by Aristide Messinesi' and of Nepal.

Administrative / Biographical History

Alice Maude Charlotte Hindson was born in 1896 at Smannell near Andover in Hampshire, where her father was a clergyman. She and her sister Blanche were tutored at home, then in 1912 she entered Cheltenham Ladies College, where she studied painting and drawing in the art class with Edward Walker, a student of Edward Johnston. During the First World War, the College was a convalescent home for wounded servicemen, and AH served as Quartermaster there.

In the 1920s, AH attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, studying life drawing, lettering and illuminating, and wood engraving with Noel Rooke. She was also taught weaving by Walter Taylor, but it was to book illustration that she turned, and she was secretary of the Guild of Scribes and Illuminators from 1928 to 1931.

At the Central School, AH met Luther Hooper (1849-1932), and it was his influence that led her to be interested in weaving on a drawloom. Her weaving was influenced by Italian medieval weaves, which she had seen while visiting Italy, and by her association with Luther Hooper and the silk weavers of Spitalfields. Her translation from woodcut designs through to small figured drawloom weaves makes her work original and unique.

She was a founder in 1931 of the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, and was a member of the 1935 Council together with Ethel Mairet, Elizabeth Peacock, Percy Beales and Valentine KilBride. After the Second World War, she was a founder member of the Hampshire Guild, attending meetings regularly until 1979. Sometimes, in the late 1970s, she brought equipment and samples to meetings. She served on the Committee of the Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers from its commencement in 1952 until 1973. Her book Designer's Drawloom was published by Faber in 1958.

She spent her last years with her sister Blanche in the Rest Home at Forest Oaks in Brockenhurst in the New Forest, and died in July 1984.


  • HIN/1 Biographical material, 1983-1984
  • HIN/2 Notebooks recording a visit to Lyon, 1963
  • HIN/3 Notes on the etymology of the vocabulary of spinning and weaving, [1950s]
  • HIN/4 Transcripts of B.B.C. Radio programmes 'Language and languages', [1965]
  • HIN/5 Pencil/colourwash drawing of H.M.S. Victory, [c.1950?]
  • HIN/6 Photographs of Alice Hindson, drawlooms and shuttles, [1930s-1940s?]
  • HIN/7 Photographs of works (weaving and printing) by AH, [1970s?]
  • HIN/8 Photographs of silks woven by Aristide Messinesi, [1970s?]
  • HIN/9 Photographs of Luther Hooper and of spinning and weaving processes, [1970s?]
  • HIN/10 Photographs of Nepal, including of weaving, [1970s?]

Access Information

Archive material may be viewed by appointment only.


This entry was compiled by Greta Bertram, Crafts Study Centre Curator, June 2020.

Other Finding Aids

Catalogue on Crafts Study Centre database. A pdf copy is available on request.

Separated Material

As well as garments and other examples of AH's weaving, the CSC holds a volume of notes and diagrams of 'work done while having lessons with Mr Hooper on his drawloom' (2002.19), photographs and drawings of looms (2016.14), a notebook of her 'Museum studies of writing and illuminations' (2003.15), and many examples of her block printing (2003.13, 2003.14, and 2012.4)

Conditions Governing Use

Written permission must be sought before any archival material is published.

Appraisal Information

None timetabled.


None expected.