Magento CommerceHandweavers Guild of America

Certificate of Excellence

Certificates of Excellence



About the COE

The Handweavers Guild of America, Inc.’s (HGA) Certificate of Excellence (COE) is a self-directed certification program for HGA members in the areas of Handweaving, Handspinning, Dyeing and Basketmaking.

Why take the COE?

  • Expand your knowledge
  • Evaluate your skills
  • Designation is used to identify and locate technically qualified Handweavers, Handspinners, Dyers, and Basketmakers


We offer two COE Levels:

  • Level I (Technical Skills) is a focus on technical skills, design principles, and knowledge of materials and equipment
  • Level II (Master with Specialized Study), available upon completion and certification of Level 1, is a master level with an in-depth study in a specialized area of the applicant’s choice.

Application Process

Preparing for the COE Examination can be rigorous and time-consuming. A mentor is available for each discipline to provide encouragement and assist with clarification throughout the process. Most applicants require two years to complete the written work and produce the samples for submission. It is highly encouraged applicants delay exam registration until they are confident they can complete the remainder of their work within the next four to six months.

The COE Handbook explains the requirements for the COE and is available for purchase by applicants and those who are interested in using it as a means to increase their knowledge and skill level. Periodically HGA revises requirements, procedures and evaluation criteria of all COE programs. The applicant is responsible for acquiring and using the most recent handbook. If revisions occur between scheduled examinations, the applicant may choose to use the prior handbook or the newly revised version. In no case, may a handbook from two or more prior revisions be used. Purchasing the COE Handbook does not require you to submit for the COE Examination. Shop COE Handbooks.

COE Examinations are conducted using the most recent version of the COE Handbook and take place biannually. Each applicant’s materials are evaluated according to accepted standards of superior handweaving, spinning, dyeing and basketmaking.

The COE Examination is $300 non-refundable and non-transferable fee, payable in two parts of $150 each. 

To Register for COE Examination:




Basket Making


Registration Deadlines:

November 2, 2018       COE in Basketmaking final payment

February 1, 2019         COE in Spinning initial payment

April 1, 2019                COE in Spinning final payment

September 1, 2019      COE in Dyeing initial payment

November 1, 2019       COE in Dyeing final payment

February 1, 2020         COE in Handweaving initial payment

April 1, 2020                COE in Handweaving final payment



Host a COE Examination

We are always looking for Guilds to volunteer to host our COE Examinations. For more information and to express an interest please complete this form.


Additional Resources:

Podcast with Sandra Swarbrick on Weavecast. Read the transcript.


COE Bibliographies (PDF):


Purchase COE Handbook:

  • Handweaving
  • Handspinning
  • Dyeing
  • Basketmaking


For more information about the COE, to verify your have the most recent version of a COE Handbook, or to inquire about your guild hosting an examination, call our Membership & Programs Coordinator at (678) 730-0010 or email