Felt making – progressing skills and ideas with Jeanette Appleton

Constructed and woven textiles

Ref: S5D12287

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Places available

About this course

This course is for those who have previously worked with the tutor and wish to extend their individual textile practice by group mentoring and individual tutorials, within a theme of embossed surfaces.

Course Description

Develop new approaches to your current work through initial paper and textile exercises, extending personal ideas and working methods. Various materials and techniques will be introduced to consider embossed surfaces, by using various fibres, fabric, and thread.

A presentation on the first evening will introduce the theme, and these ideas will be explored through a short artwork session the following morning, introducing materials and working methods to heighten your awareness of a process to link with own work.

This new focus will also help you to express and share your work within an allotted time of 20 minutes each in a group discussion. Guidance and encouragement will be given for you to share your concerns and aspirations, working method and future direction. Ideas from the discussion can be developed within your own practice, with individual tutorials throughout the course.

Interesting, embossed surfaces can be made by using various materials below the surface of the felt structure. Synthetic and natural fibres and fabric, lace and ribbons, cords and pre-felts will produce a raised effect of lines, shapes and texture.

Different fabrics can create quilted surfaces and, when stitched onto pre felts, can become very raised when fully felted. Threads below a layer of fabric can suggest Italian quilting and all white materials can resemble white work.

Collage techniques of patchwork and appliqué are used throughout the felting process. A design will develop, depending on what emerges through the process, and in conjunction with other visual references.

You will achieve an understanding of your progression so far and where to move forward in the making, display or promotion of your work, considering ideas or concepts, whether for fashion, interiors or gallery work.


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 until 9pm, 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


  • One sheet of cartridge paper

What students need to bring

  • Merino wool tops, if you already have any. Various colours including black and white (minimum: 200 gms).
  • Small selection of white and black open weave fabric, synthetic and natural
  • Small selection of various thickness of threads/yarns
  • Scissors and needles (including a large eye needle) headed pins
  • Camera/phone to record the process of ideas for further work
  • Barrier hand cream if you have sensitive skin (surgical gloves are provided)
  • Small old towel for drying hands and a cloth for mopping water spillage
  • A3 paper, minimum 8 sheets (for artwork and design sheets) and a sheet of A1 paper
  • A few sheets/scraps of various types of white and black paper, including textured paper (for collage)
  • A3 folder/book with plastic sleeves (if you wish to develop a design folder)
  • Camera or device to document the process
  • Reference material: images that inspire you and textile/artwork to be discussed at the group mentor session and to develop further
  • The following are available for use, but bring any you have:
  • A bar of olive oil soap
  • Hand carders
  • Bubble wrap (small bubble only). Minimum approx. 50 x 100 cm for sampling or to the size you wish to work
  • Foam tube used by plumbers for lagging pipes (used keep large felt firm when rolling or use)
  • Nylon open weave fabric, e.g. plain nylon net curtain. Min. 30x 30 cm (to lay over the fleece when applying water.)
  • Small container (large enough for the hand to lift out water)
  • Small selection of drawing materials, e.g. black and white oil/soft pastels and pencils
  • Paper scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Paper glue/pritt stick
  • Scraps of white and black textured papers
  • Scraps of ribbons, cords, lace, threads/yarns

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Open weave white or black silk fabric and muslin.
  • A3 folder/book with plastic sleeves
  • Art materials and A1 cartridge paper
  • Paper glue/pritt stick/masking tape
  • Available from tutor:
  • Merino wool tops: various colours, including: black, grey and white
  • Open weave fabric
  • Small selection of ribbons, cords, lace, threads and yarns
  • White and black textured papers
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


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.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or a Diploma in Art and Contemporary Crafts (10 three-day study blocks, over two years). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.

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