Press release: Fan Makers to support the re-establishment of a fan craft in the United Kingdom

January 17, 2019

Event Date -

The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers, one of the 110 Livery Companies in the City of London is pleased to announce that it has received a substantial bequest that will be used to help re-establish the craft of fan making within the United Kingdom.

In May 2017 the Heritage Crafts Association published a report identifying Fan Making as a critically endangered craft within the United Kingdom. They identified only three people involved in the making and conservation of fans, the Livery Company accepts the Report that the craft is critically endangered.

With that in mind the Company has established an endowment fund to seek to re-establish the craft and trade within the United Kingdom. We believe that for this project to succeed there needs to be three initiatives:

  • The fashion and retail trades should be encouraged to promote fans as a necessary fashion accessory, as essential as scarves and gloves in winter;
  • The fashion and arts education establishments should be encouraged to demonstrate that high quality fan making is the culmination of many skills learnt at college;
  • Those educated and encouraged to pursue a career in fan making should been given a business incubator environment to turn their craft skills into a profitable business.

With these changes there will be both a market for higher value fans and one that supports living wages.

The Livery Company is appealing for support from fashion houses and retailers as well as engaging with relevant art schools and colleges. We wish to hear from those people who would like to engage with the project, be it crafts people, interested fashion designers and retailers and entrepreneurs who have something to offer.

Contact: Martin Davies, Clerk of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers, 0207 329 4633.


  1. The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers was founded in 1709 to ensure that fans were made to a high quality in the Cities of London and Westminster. It is one of the 110 Livery Companies in the City of London, it exists to promote the trades related to the movement of air (i.e. the hand-held fan, air conditioning and aero turbines), provide fellowship to its members and make charitable donations to support the relief of poverty, good causes in the City and the arts in London.
  2. In May 2017 the Heritage Crafts Association published the “The Radcliffe Red List of Endangered Crafts” ( which highlighted many heritage crafts were at risk of extinction. The establishment of the Fan Maker craft fund within the Poor Fund of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers (Charity number 229911) is the Livery’s response to this thoughtful report. Failure to act would result in new fans being made in either Asia or by a very small number of European crafts people.
  3. The Livery company is going to appeal to at least 23 fashion houses, retailers and arts and fashion schools for non-financial help in this project. With an aim of kick starting the craft again. Further relevant expertise is sought.
  4. A fan is the fashion accessory for a hot summer or a clammy theatre on a night out, just as gloves and scarves are necessary for a cold winter. Hand made fans are near perfect ecologically, they are greenest form of cooling know to man out of getting in a cold bath.
  5. The Livery motto is “Arts and Trade United”.