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Tracy is an established designer and hand embroiderer, promoting traditional and contemporary embroidery as an art form.

Part of Durham's thriving artist community

Based in Fowlers Yard as part of an artist community in Durham City, Tracy designs, stitches, makes, produces, sells, manages, teaches, promotes, conserves, restores, all kinds of stitched textiles and embroideries.

Originally from Durham, Tracy studied pattern cutting and garment construction at Jacob Kramer College in Leeds, now known as Leeds College of Art and Design. Having successfully completed the BTEC Diploma and being awarded the Burton Trophy award, Tracy went on to complete a Costume Making course at London College of Fashion, then continuing to work in the industry until 1991.

September 1991, Tracy enrolled onto the three year apprenticeship at the Royal School of Needlework, and then went onto coordinating and teaching the apprenticeship. She left the school in 2001 to start her own freelance business back in the Northeast concentrating on teaching, designing, and producing her own work, as well as working on her own publications.

Rose Broach

Moving to Fowlers Yard

In 2003, Tracy moved into premises in 3 Fowlers Yard, Back Silver Street, Durham City an artist's community. Within her workspace, Tracy teaches workshops, classes and courses, works on commission work and preparation for various works as well as being open to the public as a tourist attraction and sells specialist threads and materials for embroidery.

By 2006, Tracy and Julia Triston formed STITCHBUSINESS, an independent stitch school designed to offer a range of creative courses in design and art textiles, teaching City & Guilds courses levels 1-3 and bespoke specialist masterclasses.

Then in 2007, Tracy became Head Broderer to an already established group, at Durham Cathedral, a position she feels very privileged to have. Durham Cathedral is the greatest Norman building in England, perhaps even in Europe and together with the Castle, is one of Britain's first World Heritage Sites.


Based in the heart of historic Durham City, by the banks of the River Wear, Fowlers Yard is where the artisans of Durham City reside working creatively within their studios.


A professional and highly skilled experienced embroiderer, tutor, with skills in art and design, pattern cutting both theatrical and fashion based, course co-ordinator, and self employed business woman.


The work I generate I would express as refined, sophisticated, stylish, urban, contemporary, yet traditional, spontaneous, subjective and observant. I create with a desire to explore and satisfy my artistic needs, and to present and promote embroidered fine art.


Read an interview with Tracy about how she began and what inspires her.


Read some wonderful testimonials from some of the people that have benefitted from Tracy's wealth of experience. 


Durham Cathedral Broderers was founded in 1978 by Mrs Phyllis Richardson, who convened the group until 2002. The group was then led by Dorothy Watson, and then by Tracy A Franklin from 2006.


Find a selection of links to partners and great places around Durham.

Latest blog posts

A Basic Silk Shading Tutorial . . . .
A Basic Silk Shading Tutorial . . . .
5th Aug 2020
Silk-shading uses a number of colours in cotton or silk threads, skilfully blended together to create the natural appearance of a flower, fruit, plant or animal.
12th Feb 2018
Interview with which is a great place for textile artists and art enthusiasts to be inspired and communicate with like-minded creatives.