Textiles and Accessories

Fine Cell Work is a UK-based social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework, patchwork and quilting. The aim is to foster hope, discipline and self-esteem – connecting prisoners with society and helping them to leave prison with confidence and the financial means to stop offending.

Fine Cell Work is, in fact, the largest body of professional needleworkers in Europe:  a workforce of 280 men and women in 32 prisons, who are trained and paid to do skilled needlework, patchwork and quilting.  The prisoners’ work is of a superb quality as they are taught and supported by volunteers from the Embroiderers and Quilters Guild. Stitching during the long hours spent in their cells, the prisoners earn 38% of the proceeds from sales and are encouraged to save it for themselves on release.

Many prisoners use the money that they earn from stitching to help their families and gain dignity and self-worth from the self-sufficiency this brings.  In their own words, the scheme teaches “skills I never even knew I had”, “something constructive to do to fill the otherwise wasted and empty hours” and “alternatives to crime”.  For some Fine Cell Workers this is the first time in their lives that they have ever completed a job, been thanked for it and had, as one prisoner put it, “self-belief on a daily basis”.


  • 70% of convicted prisoners spend an average of 17 hours each day locked in their cells – even longer on weekends and holidays.
  • Fine Cell Work’s stitchers spend 20 hours per week, on average, embroidering in their cells. The highest earners stitch for up to 40 hours per week.
  • On average it takes 100 hours to produce one of Fine Cell Work’s products.
  • 95% of Fine Cell Work’s stitchers are men, reflecting that 96% of the prison population are men.
  • 60% of Fine Cell Work’s income is from donations, 40% from sales.

Aside from Fine Cell Work’s own collection, Fine Cell Work stitchers also make commissions for private individuals, including the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales, leading interior designers, such as Kit Kemp and Melissa Wyndham and heritage organisations, including Royal Palaces, The V&A and Tate Modern.

Highly regarded interior designers, Kit Kemp, Melissa Wyndham and Blithfield & Co. have worked closely with Fine Cell Work. You can order commission pieces from their collection through Wright & Smith as well as a selection of Fine Cell Work’s other designs. 100% of the proceeds of your purchase via Wright & Smith will go to Fine Cell Work. We are delighted to support the wonderful work that they do.

“Fine Cell Work gives these men dignity to work and, through this, dignity in life. When a man gains self-respect he may start addressing his offensive behavior”

Officer, HMP Wandsworth