Constance Howard was born in Northampton, after attending the local art school she studied illustration and wood engraving at the Royal College of Art. For many years she taught at Goldsmiths College, London and went on to found the Department of Embroidery (now Textiles) in the College's School of Art, later being appointed Head of Department. She was seen widely as a leading pioneer in the making and teaching of embroidery as an art form. She undertook the mammoth task of chronicling the progress of contemporary embroidery from the mid 19th Century to the mid 1980s in four well researched volumes entitled Twentieth Century Embroidery. Constance Howard was a very small woman, yet her lively personality and bright green hair made certain that she never went unrecognised in a crowd. She adopted this style in the 1930s using lithographers' ink as colour until punk rockers ensured that hair dye of every shade was made available. Her work had a linear style clearly formed from her original studies at the Royal College.