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Ceramic pots on shelves
Photograph: Kasama Potters / Hiroshi Otsu

The best things to do for London Craft Week

Everything from knife sharpening to Persian rug weaving

Written by
Chiara Wilkinson
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Calling all makers and shakers. London Craft Week is back to take over the capital from Monday 4 to Sunday October 10, celebrating craftsmanship with a huge variety of activities, exhibitions, and tours on offer. From chocolate-making to perfume-smelling, cocktail-tasting and calligraphy-writing, this is a great opportunity to find a unique new hobby or simply learn more about these ancient skills. Check out our top picks below. 

Re-learn your cutlery skills at a knife techniques workshop

Turns out, there’s a lot more to knives that most of us probably realised. Join Borough Kitchen for an evening of dicing, slicing, and segmenting, with a focus on the craft behind London-made Blenheim Forge knives. You’ll be led by an expert in shiny sharp objects and learn how to use different types of knives to cut and carve all sorts of shapes. Perfect if you’re hosting any dinner parties anytime soon.

Oct 6, 18:30 - 20:30. 129c Upper Street, N1 1QP. £39, bookings here.

Make, do & mend with the Fashion School

Everyone knows that fast fashion is out, second-hand is in, and mending your clothes is here to stay. The Fashion School in Chelsea will teach you a bunch of techniques to repair, alter, and up-cycle your things to your wardrobe’s content. Bring along some garments to practice on, and don’t worry if you’re a complete beginner: no previous sewing experience is needed.

Oct 8, 10:00 - 13:00. 6 Burnsall Street, SW3 3ST. £25, bookings here.

Drink Japanese cocktails out of handcrafted glassware

Sip your way through an evening of decadence at this crafty cocktail tasting session. Pantechnicon’s head mixologist will introduce you to the lesser-known Japanese distilled spirits, shochu and awamori, and answer any questions you may have about their history and flavours. You’ll get two cocktails served in special handcrafted glassware (one mimics the texture of fruit, the other mimics chipped ice). Cheers!

Oct 6, 17:00 - 18:00 and 19:00 - 20:00. 19 Motcomb Street, SW1X 8LB. £45, bookings here.

Detox your body and mind with essential oils

Time to chill. Hackney Herbal is running a wellbeing workshop where you’ll learn about the health benefits of incorporating herbs into your lifestyle and most importantly, how to use them properly. You’ll also have the opportunity to get your hands dirty and combine oils like a crazy scientist to make personalised products to take home. 

Oct 6, 10:30 - 12:00, and Oct 7, 13:00 - 14:30. The Mills Fabrica London, 36-40 York Way, N1 9AB. £40, bookings here. 

Discover the specialist secrets of the Royal Albert Hall

Apart from shows, the Royal Albert Hall is not normally open to the public, so this tour is a brilliant opportunity to inspect it up close, it in all of its glory. A specialist guide will whisk you around all of the building's architectural hotspots – from clocks to busts – to teach you about the design, history, and construction of the iconic Victorian landmark. 

Oct 5 and Oct 7, 12:00 - 13:00. Royal Albert Hall, SW7 2AP. £16.25, bookings here

Spruce up your space with your own handmade wall art 

This two-hour session run by the founder of Ambar (a bespoke homeware label and design studio) will guide you through creating your own hand-woven wall composition. Making a yarn wrap, you’ll experiment with colour and texture, and probably come out feeling like you should apply for a job on one of those interior design TV shows.

Oct 9, 11:00 - 13:00. Studio NS13, E8 3RL. £55, bookings here. 

Become a bamboo expert at this fascinating exhibition

Bamboo is not just hollow wood or the stuff that pandas eat. It’s actually a prized cultural material that’s used for spiritual and practical solutions to living, and there’s a lot to learn about it. Find all about the art of bamboo and how it relates to traditional cultures and contemporary work, at this show organised for London Craft Week by Crafts on Peel.

Oct 4 - 10, 10:30 - 19:00. The Loft, 180 Strand, WC2R 1EA. No booking necessary. Find out more here.

Watch these Persian rug weavers with wonder

Ever wondered how those gloriously intricate Persian rugs – the ones that fancy people always seem to have in their living room – are made? Robert Kime interior designers are opening up their showroom for a day, where their craftsmen will restore a selection of antique woven rugs right before your eyes. Watch the process shape up throughout the day and gaze on in awe. 

Oct 7, 12:00 - 17:00. Robert Kime London Showroom, 190–192 Ebury Street, SW1W 8UP. Free, find out more here.

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