Press Release: Sew, knit and weave, textile short courses 2017

West Dean College's latest brochure offers a wide range of textile courses to explore techniques in embroidery, dyeing, screen and lino block printing, leatherwork, quilting, needlelace, weaving and more. Learn traditional and contemporary arts and be guided and inspired by expert tutors who are all practicing professional artists, designers and makers with exceptional reputations. The college is internationally renowned for teaching in the Visual Arts and incorporates a tapestry studio, light and airy studios and workshops. Students have access to the award-winning West Dean Gardens during their stay and can explore the parkland, walled kitchen garden and St Roche's Arboretum during breaks in classes.

Using freehand machine embroidery techniques with water dissolvable fabric learn how to manipulate your stitching into stunning sculptural, wearable art or decorative accessories inspired by flowers and other natural forms. Machine embroidered jewellery accessories with embroiderer and artist, Lindsay Taylor (9 - 12 April, £337, three days, beginners/intermediate).

Milliner, Anne Tomlin, will help you master the techniques to create authentic colours with dyes, make stamens, bond silk layers, disguise wire and bind stems to construct a small arrangement of roses on a small hat base or band, using traditional French and Japanese heated tools to manipulate the fabric. Millinery silk flower making - roses (NEW 19 - 22 May, long weekend, £339, suitable for all).

Learn the basic skills, including saddle stitching, while working with suede to make two accessories, a coin purse and a drawstring pouch. Leathercraft - sew a suede purse with Tibor Eperjessy, artisan leather craftsman (NEW 30 June, one day, £128, beginners).

Drawing on traditions of block printed textiles from the mid 20th-century, develop and cut a lino block to print as a single colour cushion design from bold abstract to animals or delicate florals, and print your design onto natural linen fabric. Lino block printed linen textiles with painter and printer, Hugh Dunford Wood (6 - 9 July, long weekend, £361, suitable).

Explore the use of layers in textiles and papers to create folding forms and objects inspired by the land and landscape. Print, dye, collage and stitch will transform the ordinary into the extraordinary as new surfaces emerge and your landscape unfolds. Unfolding landscapes - cloth, paper and stitch with Cas Holmes, paper and textile artist (12 - 18 August, Summer School, £731, suitable for all).

Learn to weave with a simple backstrap loom, experimenting with colour and varied materials to design items such as bracelets, table mats and wallhangings. Weaving, pure and simple with weavers Ann Richards and Deirdre Wood (6 September, one day, £123, beginners).

Visual Arts and Crafts Summer Schools

The college's popular Summer Schools are a creative and social highlight of the year. Extend your stay on one of the three separate week-long courses which allow you to encounter a broad range of creative insights and immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere at West Dean. Week One (29 July - 4 August), Week Two (5 - 11 August) and Week Three (12 - 18 August).

The College offers over 700 short courses each year from basketweaving to bobbin lacemaking, and sewing to sculpture. To browse the latest digital brochure and to book online visit

Special Offer. First time bookings are entitled to a 10% discount on the cost of course fees (telephone bookings only) +44 (0)1243 818300. Gift vouchers of £10, £25, £50 or £100 can be used as full or part payment towards a short course.

The college offers B&B accommodation from £102 per person for two nights (twin occupancy).


Notes to editors

  • West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
  • The college offers over 700 creative short courses each year, as well as Diploma and Degree programmes in the School of Conservation and School of Creative Arts.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.

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Chevron neckpiece by Anne Richards
Chevron neckpiece by Anne Richards
Meadow Hat by Anne Tomlin, millinery short courses
Meadow Hat by Anne Tomlin, millinery short courses
Unfolding landscapes - cloth paper and stitch with Cas Holmes
Unfolding landscapes - cloth paper and stitch with Cas Holmes

Media Contact Information

For further information, high-resolution digital images of filming opportunities contact

Irene Caswell, Senior Media Officer, +44 (0)1243 811301


West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ