New photography commission

In the Frame photography brief:

The Framework Knitters Museum are partnering with John Smedley Ltd to commission new photographic works. We have an exciting opportunity for a photographer to create a collection of work which explores the key qualities of British knitwear – the relationship between craftspeople and their tools. These characteristics are what link the two partners and have been an essential aspect of the country’s hosiery heritage for more than 400 years.

John Smedley Ltd is the oldest continuously operating manufacturer in the world, producing fine gauge knitwear from their Lea Mills, Derbyshire factory since 1784. Crafted from the finest noble fibres of Extra fine Merino Wool, John Smedley’s Sea Island Cotton and other luxury blends. John Smedley’s menswear and womenswear ranges are available worldwide via their stand-alone retail stores in the St James’s, Mayfair and Marylebone of London, and the Tokyo, Yokohama and Kyoto areas of Japan. The full collection can be seen at . Exports are made to over 47 countries worldwide via international wholesale partners such as Mr Porter, Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Isetan, Di Bijenkorf and Le Bon Marche.

John Smedley holds two Royal Warrants for ‘the manufacturer of fine knitwear’ from Her Majesty The Queen & His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2020, Ian Maclean, Managing Director of John Smedley Ltd and 8th generation family member, was awarded a MBE for services to the UK textile industry and the Covid-19 response.

John Smedley has one of the largest knitted garment archives in the world and has counted the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, The Beatles, Sean Connery, Kate Winslet, Robert DeNiro, Ed Skrein, Eva Longoria and more amongst their celebrity fans. Over the years, John Smedley has supported and collaborated with many leading designers to champion British manufacturing including Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Lou Dalton, Sacai, Fragment, Comme Des Garcons and Holly Fulton. 


Overview of Project

Both sites have rich stories of craft and community which we wish to celebrate. This region saw the birth of the knitwear industry and has long produced some of the finest products. You would need to work with the staff at both sites to identify, capture and curate these stories creating a collection of powerful images.

You will develop these photographs and stories to form an exhibition which will be showcased at London Craft Week, magazines, a tour and through John Smedley Ltd stores in the UK and potentially Japan.

We’re looking for a photographer whose work explores themes of craft and community. You will have full access to both sites and their collections to gather information and inspiration. 

During the project, you will have full access to our Instagram account to share posts to showcase your work and keep followers updated on your progress. 

The work must be completed by the end of June 2022 with the bulk of the photography taking place in February and March 2022.



This is a paid opportunity with a fee of £4000 to include all expenses and VAT. A separate exhibition production budget of £1000 is available.


Application Process

To apply please write a short statement (500 words max.) including your motivation for the project and a portfolio illustrating previous experience of similar projects. There are no entry requirements for this role so please do not hesitate to apply. 


Applications will close 5pm on December 13th 2021


Please send your application or any further questions to