Art textiles

Silk organza appliqué portraits with Emily Jo Gibbs

Ref: SLW10729

Suitable for all

Book now

2 places available

About this course

Learn how to create delicate textile portraits, using layers of silk organza and hand stitch. Bring your own drawings, photographs and written thoughts as a starting point.

Course Description

You’ll first make test pieces using layers of sheer fabrics, to understand how the work is constructed and to decide how to interpret your image. We’ll use these test pieces throughout the week.

Play with the colour created by layering different coloured organzas. Look at how light and shade can be created with different shaped layers of the same colour. See how you can use stab stitch to create different effects. Experiment with stitch length and density and thread colour.

Thinking about composition, you will create a paper collage to work from, this may include drawings, photographs and text.

Using a variety of media including pencil, water colour and silk paint, transfer your images on to translucent fabrics, build layers and areas of colour with pieces of coloured organza.

Putting what you’ve learnt making the test pieces into practice; create the backdrop for your stitched illustration, then apply hand stitched areas to bring your work to life with texture and colour, as you work up your finished image.

Particular attention will be given to eyes and lips.


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


  • On this course the tutor will supply all of the materials including
  • Linen and silk organza and threads

What students need to bring

  • A selection of threads Emily uses cotton or poly cotton ie. Coats or Gutterman. (Stranded/Floss is also ok but is thicker, some people like the fine silk threads, also ok)
  • Needles, pins, small sharp scissors for cutting fabric and paper, an HB pencil, some paper.
  • If you have them a few water colours or fabric paint and brushes (not essential)
  • Remember your sewing glasses / magnifier etc.
  • Bring your own drawings or photographs to work from approx. A5-A4 size


Emily Jo Gibbs

Emily Jo Gibbs is a British artist who over the last two decades has established an international reputation for her exquisite work. Emily also has experience delivering workshops, practical demonstrations and artists talks for a variety of clients including the V&A, Embroiderers guilds and the Crafts Council. Emily is a member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists.


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

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.