The Red List

of Endangered Crafts

Pilgrim TrustFrom blacksmithing to basketry, from weaving to woodturning, we have an incredible range of heritage craft skills in the UK and some of the best craftspeople in the world. But many of these skills are in the hands of individuals who have been unable to make provision to pass them on.

The Heritage Crafts Red List of Endangered Crafts, first published in 2017, was the first report of its kind to rank traditional crafts by the likelihood they would survive to the next generation, based on intangible cultural heritage safeguarding principles, led by Heritage Crafts, the only UK UNESCO-accredited NGO working primarily in the domain of traditional craftsmanship.

The list attracted extensive media coverage both in the UK and abroad, shining a light on heritage craft practices under threat from a number of identifiable issues. It is our hope that this research will act as a call to action to those who have it within their power to resolve or alleviate these issues, and that this project will mark the start of long-term monitoring of heritage craft viability and a shared will to avoid the cultural loss that is borne each time a craft dies.

View the full list

Heritage Crafts committed to updating the list on a regular basis, and so between September 2022 and May 2023 over 900 organisations and individuals were contacted directly by email and telephone and invited to contribute to the research. Participants were asked to provide background information about each craft, such as its history, techniques and local forms, as well as current information relating to the number of skilled craftspeople and trainees, and the ongoing issues affecting the viability of the craft. In May 2023 the fourth edition was published, increasing the number of crafts examined to 259, with five new critically endangered crafts and 17 new endangered crafts added.

Each craft was then classified into one of four categories of endangerment using a combination of both objective criteria (such as numbers of crafts people and trainees) and subjective criteria (issues affecting the future viability of the craft including training opportunities and market trends). Issues affecting the viability of heritage crafts vary on a craft-by-craft basis, though many can be grouped, and possible solutions devised that will help many crafts practices become more viable.

For the purposes of this research, a heritage craft is defined as ‘a practice which employs manual dexterity and skill and an understanding of traditional materials, design and techniques, and which has been practised for two or more successive generations’. The research focuses on craft practices which are taking place in the UK at the present time, including those crafts which have originated elsewhere, and on those aspects of each craft with a high reliance on hand-work and which involve high levels of hand skill.

If you have any queries about the research, are aware of a heritage craft that is not listed, or have further information to add about any craft, please contact [email protected].

Latest Red List stories

Reviving the craft of cricket ball making in the UK

Reviving the craft of cricket ball making in the UK

Nine more grants to help save endangered crafts

Nine more grants to help save endangered crafts

cricket ball making
Craft skills under threat with 17 additions to the Red List of Endangered Crafts

Craft skills under threat with 17 additions to the Red List of Endangered Crafts

arrowsmithing
National Lottery Heritage Fund
Swire Charitable Trust
The Royal Mint
Pilgrim Trust
Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation
William Grant Foundation

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This was funded by the @heritagefunduk and made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.

📷 @meandyoucreates
Join us from 7 to 9 June at our Marquee of Endangered Crafts at the 20th Anniversary @craftfestival in Bovey Tracey where we’ll be featuring fan maker @fantheglorywithtori, pigment maker @londonpigment, marionette maker @buddyollie,  Devon stave basket maker @johnwilliamson.dartmoor, letterpress printer @theletterpresscollective, maille maker @artisansilversmith, willow furniture makers @coatesenglishwillow and withy pot maker @willowcrabpots, as well as talks with @craftivists and @thecrafter_uk.

Booking via the linktr.ee in our bio.
Join Heritage Crafts in conversation with period tailor Zack Pinsent @pinsent_tailoring at 7pm on 11 June, for a special extended edition to mark our 50th In Conversation event.

A self-taught tailor and social media influencer, Zack Pinsent ceremonially burned his last pair of jeans at the age of 14, and has not worn an article of modern clothing since. He operates Pinsent Tailoring in Brighton, crafting bespoke items reflecting fashion of the late 17th through early 20th centuries and shares his skills and passion with enthusiasts, students and new audiences. Zack will talk about the craft that underpins his public profile, his love for tailoring rooted in history and his hope for the next generation of makers. The event will also celebrate our new partnership with the @costume_society to support UK fashion textile makers.

The session will take place on Zoom and attendees must register in advance on Eventbrite via the linktr.ee in our bio. Attendees will also have the opportunity to submit questions in advance.
‘Neon, kilts, cricket bats: artisans gather to shine a light on Britain’s endangered crafts’ in the @guardian

“’Over the centuries, crafts have ebbed and flowed; some die out but others grow to replace them,’ says Daniel Carpenter, executive director of Heritage Crafts, the charity that produces the [bi]annual red list of endangered skills. ‘But what we’re seeing now is something different...’”

Read more via the linktr.ee in our bio.

📷 Kilt maker @graemebonefashion by Iain Brown
His Majesty The King to retain patronage of Heritage Crafts

Following His Majesty The King’s Accession in September 2022, a major review of more than 1,000 Royal Patronages and charity Presidencies has been undertaken. To mark the first anniversary of Their Majesties’ Coronation, the outcome has today been shared, with Heritage Crafts amongst the charities to be retained.

Members of the Royal Family are proud to maintain close associations with more than 1,000 charities, military organisations, and professional and public service bodies, both in the United Kingdom and across the Commonwealth. Royal patronage highlights the vital work of these organisations and allows their many achievements and valuable contributions to society to be more widely recognised and promoted.
‘Craft comes out of the shadows’ in yesterday’s @financialtimes on the forthcoming @londoncraftweek including @lucybarlow.hats at @craftworks.show and @larapaintextiles at @roseuniacke.

“If offering courses is one encouragement, reward for excellence is another. Interior business Rose Uniacke has invited Lara Pain, winner in 2023 of the inaugural Heritage Crafts’ Young Weaver of the Year Award, to take up residence in the brand’s Pimlico Road fabric shop.”

Full article link in our linktr.ee.

📷 Thomas Pratt
Heritage Crafts will be exhibiting at the @craftworks.show @shoreditchth from 15 to 17 May 2024, part of @londoncraftweek. 

We’ll be joined by current President’s Award for Endangered Crafts holder and straw hat maker @lucybarlow.hats who will be demonstrating the skill of stitching straw plait. We will also be sharing a space with guardians of other crafts on the Red List of Endangered Crafts @whitchurchsilkmill and @clockmakerscompany.

At 4.10pm on Wednesday 15th we’ll be hosting a panel discussion on ‘Craft Endangerment and the Red List’, and at 1.40pm on Thursday 16th we’ll be hosting another one on ‘Ensuring a Future for Craft Skills in the UK’.

Click the linktr.ee in our bio to reserve your free three-day pass to join us!
Funders and sponsors are helping Heritage Crafts to make its biggest contribution to early-career craft training since the charity was founded in 2010, with over £100k worth of training bursaries launching today.

The new bursaries are intended for talented new entrants and early-career practitioners, who might otherwise be lost to the heritage crafts sector as a result of not being able to afford hands-on craft training at a key moment in their early career. Of the 27 bursaries on offer:

• 11 will be generally available to trainees facing financial hardship, which may be exacerbated by other barriers they are facing, supported by @heritagefunduk, Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation, Newby Trust, Anthony and Elizabeth Mellows Charitable Settlement, @kendrick_hobbs and Malcolm Gammie.
• 2 will be allocated to Black and ethnically-diverse trainees, who remain under-represented in the sector, supported by the @cityandguildsfoundation.
• 6 will be allocated to veterans of the British Armed Services, supported by the @armybenevolentfund and the Royal British Legion.
• 3 will be allocated to trainees in Scotland, supported by the William Grant Foundation.
• 2 will be allocated to trainees in Wales, supported by the Ashley Family Foundation.
• 1 will be allocated to decorative crafts, supported by the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.
• 1 will be allocated to rural crafts, supported by the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.
• 1 will be allocated to an endangered craft featured on the Red List of Endangered Crafts, supported by @soanebritain.

Applicants are invited to apply once using a single application form, and will automatically be considered for the general funding pot as well as all of the categories that apply to them. Visit the linktr.ee in our bio for more information and to apply. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 5 July 2024.

📷 @sunturned