photo Toby Crawford

photo Toby Crawford



Free embroidery artist, Central St Martins alumnus Tina Crawford works from her studio in Deptford, south-east London. Sir Paul Smith thinks her work is great, validation indeed from one of her design heroes.

"The sewing machine makes me come alive; the fluidity, the speed, the risk – it's an incredible instrument that I found by chance to keep me sane and is now an extension of my hands."

“I work using a number of materials from paper to food packaging; free embroidery is a wonderful medium”

The London based stitcher creates bespoke ranges for some of the Capitals icons including Shakespeare's Globe and St Paul's Cathedral under the brand Tobyboo.

She lives in Croydon, south London with her husband, son Toby (hence Tobyboo) and Pookie the cat.

Tina is Central St Martins alumni, after completing a jewellery degree she went on to work in television, her first job was creating the ‘makes’ for Zoe Ball for CBBC’s art programme SMart.

Tina became ill years into her career, housebound and in chronic pain, she re-trained in machine embroidery to keep her sane.

In 2019 Tina was listed as one of the top 50 neurodiverse influential women by Women Beyond the Box, she has dyslexia.

Fine Art Embroidery: Tina is a master of her craft, using the sewing machine with such fluidity as if the apparatus is an extension of her own body. Tina followed her passion to work in television following her degree at Central St Martins. After a decade working, ill health forced Tina to stop. She enrolled in an adult education class in free embroidery and a new love was born. Her brand ‘Tobyboo’ keeps its roots firmly in Britain for manufacturing; fine bone china from Stoke on Trent and textiles produced in the Midlands. I feel she would be valuable member for the following reasons: Manufacturing locally in the UK, giving much needed help to rebuild our manufacture industry. Her illustration work is of the highest calibre and originality. Local manufacture processes posses integrity and environmental impact is at an absolute minimum. Her work is firmly rooted in British culture, supporting our heritage and local museums. Her works sometimes make comments on complex political situations, offering a simple opinion that cuts through the noise.
— Jim Rokos