Constructed and woven textiles

Felt making – passages with Jeanette Appleton

Ref: S5D09262


Contact us

2 places available

About this course

Consider the transition of colour shades by various fibre mixing methods and resist techniques for interesting surfaces and passages, to extend your ideas for feltmaking.

Course Description

Exploring the theme 'Passages', with ideas from the process of elapsing and transition to reconsider the method and structures of felt. Considering imagery from the passages within the unique West Dean College building and Gardens with ideas around the passage of time or changing from one condition to another. You will Initiate a new approach and awareness of current work and also consider new ideas for future projects in fashion, interiors or artworks.

You will have the opportunity to collect inspiring images and designs from tonal shapes and colour changes seen around West Dean by photography or sketching. Or focusing on these elements within individual research and working methods to translate into felt.

By various fibre mixing methods including using the College's drum carder, the transition from one colour to another will be discovered. Initially exploring tonal shapes and then introducing colour to develop an understanding of tonal contrasts in fibre and fabric. Composition will be explored by brief exercises using collage with art materials or pre felts, for a deeper understanding of the spatial effects colour can create.

Resist techniques will be demonstrated and suggestions of its application for individual projects will be advised. Producing interesting surfaces and passages within the felt structure with the possibilities of three-dimensional forms. The felt technique offers the opportunity to play with layering various fibres and fabric, or adding stitch to manipulate the felt surface.

You will initially make a set of samples, working towards a series of ideas for a design folder and/or a finished item, depending on what emerges through the process. The tutor will give demonstrations as well as individual tutorials, group discussion and power point presentation.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Reference material(drawing/photographs) which you want to discuss and develop.
  • Bring materials and equipment specific to your project and working methods
  • This list is a suggestion of what may be required and will be available.
  • Camera or device to document the process
  • Small old towel (For drying hands.)
  • Sponge/cloth (For water spillage.)
  • Small selection of coloured, black and grey open weave fabric.
  • Small selection of coloured threads and yarns.
  • These items marked # will be provided by or borrowed from tutor but please bring your own if you have it.
  • # Bubble wrap (small bubble only). Minimum approx. 50 x 100 cm for sampling or to the size you wish to work. (To lay the fleece on.)
  • # Tube used by plumbers for lagging pipes. (To keep large felt firm when rolling or use.-Bubble wrap for small pieces.)
  • # A bar of olive oil soap (preferably 'Olvia' from health stores)
  • # Small container (Large enough for the hand to lift out water.)
  • # Tube used by plumbers for lagging pipes. [To keep large felt firm when rolling]
  • # Sensitive skin? Your hands may need a barrier cream or surgical gloves.
  • # Masking tape PVA glue or prit stic
  • # Hand carders
  • # Sewing kit (Including a large eye needle and headed pins]
  • A few sheets of A3 or A1 white paper. [1 sheet A1#]
  • A few sheets of A4 or A3 black and grey paper. [#A4 black and grey]
  • #Paper scissors
  • A3 folder/book with plastic sleeves [if you wish to develop a design folder].
  • Small selection of soft pastels including black, grey and white. [#black, grey, white and a few colours]
  • Small selection of pencils [#a few lead / colour pencils and graphite sticks]
  • Camera or device to document the process

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • We have a generously stocked craft shop, which opens daily from 8.30am-2pm.
  • For any materials you need to purchase from the shop, we suggest you do so during the first morning of your course, after having discussed with your tutor.
  • Open weave white or black silk fabric and off white muslin
  • Sewing materials - including headed pins and large eyed needles
  • A small selection of embroidery threads
  • A3 folder/book with plastic sleeves (if you wish to develop a design folder)
  • Art materials
  • White, grey and black paper.
  • Available from tutor:
  • On this course the tutor will supply some of the materials, including wool tops The cost of what you use should be paid to the tutor before the end of the course, by cash or cheque and is unlikely to cost more than £10.
  • Merino wool tops: various colours including black, grey and white. (Minimum: 500 gms)
  • Small selection of white, black and grey open weave fabric .
  • Small selection of coloured threads and yarns


Jeanette Appleton

What will students gain if they come on one of your courses? We will explore the potential of design ideas at each stage of the felt making process, enjoy the surprises and discoveries in the transformation of materials, and consolidate individual methods and direction for fashion, interiors, installations or art works.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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