Welcome to my Drawing for Textiles workshop ONLINE!

There are a few things you'll need to gather together - but you won't need them all to start with, so I've split them into 2 lists - The Drawing Stuff, which will be needed first & then The Fabric Stuff, which will be needed after the first week or so into the workshop.


The Drawing Stuff

  • Large paper - white cartridge is great, maybe some brown packing paper or even wide lining paper.  Here size is everything! Minimum of A1 if possible - about 10 sheets should do it. I like to try and get hold of wide rolls of cartridge paper.

  • a wide variety of drawing media: a thick permanent marker, chunky charcoal, an oil bar &/or oil pastel, chunky graphite [soft], biro, HB pencil....As for colours, could you aim to keep them simple: black & white is fine.

  • I'll also be using some Empty/refillable Marker Pens - they aren't essential & you could use foam pads or a big brush with dye or ink, again black.  Fred Aldous have a version of these pens, I have Molotow - you could try a quick google search for a supplier in your area/country if you are interested: there is no need to buy these a quick alternative is a strip of foam dipped in ink/dye.

  • Bleach &/or white emulsion if you have a spare bit hanging around

  • Masking tape

  • Camera

  • A garden cane/stick about 4 or 5ft long

  • You may find a drawing board useful - any large flat surface will be fine though: most students fine a large floor area the easiest to use...so clear an area and maybe have some scrap paper to plastic down to protect the surface.

  • I shall be using an Over Head Projector - I realise you may not have access to one of these but I just thought I mention it as you never know [we will be working from shadows, so anything that can help create shadows would be useful] ...why not try and borrow one from a local school or village hall, you can also find them going for a song on ebay! A 'Visualiser' or data projector would also work well indeed.

  • Access to a scanner, printer or photocopier - the local library will be your best bet if you don't have something like this at home

  • And what will we draw you ask!!  Objects you love, but have not drawn before [please don't practice!!! It won't help!!] make sure you have a collection of objects [more than 6] and that you avoid photographs or anything that relies too heavily on the two dimensional surface.  You can change objects part way through - that's not a problem.  Aim for things that you can have close to you - so 'the landscape' isn't suitable.  Often jewellery or precious collected items have been used in the past - as have natural forms: plants, leaves etc

The Fabric Stuff

  • I shall be using an Embellisher/Needle Punch Felting machine - this is undoubtedly the best option, however there are hand held options: World of Wool has a variety of options, the Cotton Patch has others...they were just the first two from a quick internet search.  Beg/borrow a machine to avoid repetitive strain injury...
    My machine is a Janome 725 - there are other brands, but I've never had any problems with mine :-)

  • Access to a sewing machine with the facility for free machine embroidery [the feed dogs need to drop, if this is not possible try turning the stitch length to zero and put cellotape over the teeth!] - some of the work can be completed with hand stitch, but a machine is preferable. An appropriate foot for your machine is a good idea too - depending on your machine it will be call a free motion embroidery foot or a darning foot.  Please please please have your machine serviced if you don't use it regularly, it will save huge frustration during the workshop....as a basic it needs to be running smoothly when straight stitching.

  • Fabric to work on: I use wool flannel from Whaleys, in the UK, it's not cheap, but I love it! Suitable alternatives might be old blanket [as fine as possible], fine felt, other fine woven wool - wool is best. [fine cotton wadding can also work OK] You'll not need any more than half a meter.

  • Wool fleece/tops - blacks/greys just a small quantity again World of Wool is a great supplier - if you can visit it's well worth it, but they do mail order.  I'm lucky they are only a few miles away!

  • Small quantities of scrim/muslin type fabric in black or white & other fine cottons - raid a scrap box. I like turban cotton.  I'd be 'pained' if you bought meterage of these as we'll use such small amounts - just keep your eye open!

  • Black/grey/cream/white yarns and cottons of all weights and descriptions: sewing thread, knitting yarn, stranded cottons.

  • An embroidery hoop approx 25/30cm in diameter.

  • Fabric scissors

  • Hand sewing needles