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High Sheriffs will wear lace jabots made by Nottingham Trent University

Specially made jabots and cuffs inspired by historic lace designs will be worn by two High Sheriffs thanks to Nottingham Trent University.

Nick Ebbs High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in his ceremonial wear
Nick Ebbs
High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire

Textile lecturers have used the original drawings of a Nottingham lace designer to create the ceremonial clothing for the High Sheriffs of Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

A jabot is an ornamental frill or ruffle on the front of a shirt or blouse, typically made of lace. The High Sheriffs wear the jabot and cuffs with a suit of black silk velvet for important events in their community.

Nottingham Trent University has close links to the region’s rich textile history and is home to the national Lace Archive, which contains the work of lace designer Harry Cross who is famous for designing the Battle of Britain lace panel in the 1940s.

One of the designer’s original drawings has now been used to inspire the lace jabots both Sheriffs will wear.

In return, Trickers of Northampton will provide handmade court shoes for the Sheriffs. Located in the heart of Britain’s shoemaking region, the company has been trading for 180 years.

Nick Ebbs and James Saunders Watson first met at the High Court of Justice in November last year where the nominations of prospective High Sheriffs are made.

The pair, who have been chosen to represent Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire respectively, wanted a way of celebrating the heritage of their counties. They will wear the jabots, cuffs and shoes for the first time at their declaration ceremonies, which signifies the start of their year serving as High Sheriff.

High Sheriffs are appointed by the Queen through a Royal Warrant. Their role embraces ceremonial, civic, judicial and community activities directed at making a positive contribution to the County they represent. These include supporting charities and emergency services, accompanying the Lord Lieutenant on royal visits and providing support to visiting High Court judges and public agencies.

The High Sheriffs looking at the drawings that inspired their jabots
Nick Ebbs and James Saunders Watson studying the original lace drawings

Nick Ebbs, High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire in nomination, said: “It is an honour and a great privilege to represent Nottinghamshire as High Sheriff. I am especially delighted to have the opportunity to wear a jabot and cuffs created by staff at NTU, where I am a governor. The University has a really strong link to Nottingham’s lace heritage dating back to 1843 when the School of Design was opened to support the industry.”

James Saunders Watson, High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, said: “As ambassadors for our counties, it seemed fitting for us to exchange gifts that reflect the identities of Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire.

“Trickers has been hand making shoes for 180 years and Nottingham’s lace heritage is well documented with the lace archive at the university providing the inspiration for the jabots and cuffs we will wear at ceremonial events.”

Tina Downes, principal lecturer in the department of Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear Design, said: “The lace archive is an important catalyst for creativity and this project is a brilliant example of how it can influence contemporary design.

“The sheriffs’ lace has been designed using state of the art digital embroidery software and manufactured on a multi-head embroidery machine. Each jabot contains 102,000 stitches, with 136,000 stitches in each pair of cuffs. Hand finishing techniques add an element of bespoke luxury to the final items.”

Dr Amanda Briggs-Goode, Head of Department for Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear Design as well as managing the Lace Archive, said: “Harry Cross is one of many designers who studied at the school of art and design and contributed to the success of the lace industry in the 20th century.  He was a skilled designer and I am delighted that his skills can still be put to use today to represent the heritage of the city as part of these two ceremonial outfits.”

  • Notes for editors

    Nottingham Trent University was named University of the Year 2017 at the Times Higher Education Awards and Modern University of the Year in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018. The award recognises NTU for its strong student satisfaction, quality of teaching, overall student experience and engagement with employers.

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is one of the largest UK universities with nearly 30,000 students and some 4,000 staff across four campuses, contributing £496m to the UK economy every year.

    It is one of the most environmentally-friendly universities, containing some of the country’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    The University is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. The University is the sixth biggest recruiter of students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the country and 95.6% of its graduates go on to employment or further education within six months of leaving.

    NTU is home to world-class research, winning The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 - the highest national honour for a UK university. The prize recognised pioneering projects to improve the detection of weapons and explosives in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula and combat food fraud.

    With an international student population of approximately 2,600 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook and seeks to attract talented students and staff from across the world.

Published on 6 April 2018
  • Category: Press office; School of Art & Design