Felt making – exploring colour, subtle texture and surface with Jeanette Appleton

Art textiles

Ref: SLW11897

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About this course

Enjoy the surprises when exploring different methods of colour mixing and manipulating wool tops during the felt process to create subtle textures and surfaces. Find your artist approach to making textiles and gain individual personal development for art works, interior or fashion.

Course Description

Enjoy the surprises when exploring different methods of colour mixing and manipulating wool tops during the felt process to create subtle textures, marks and surfaces. Varying the proportion and sequences in the layered fibre with the addition of threads and fabric will transform the materials when fully felted.

An initial brief exercise of layering coloured pencils and pastel will heighten your awareness of various mixing possibilities. These will be used to guide the choice of colours when layering the textile materials.

Further structural changes can be developed at pre-felt stage as a soft pre-felt can be pulled or cut for reassembling into new compositions and forms. Adding more coloured wool tops and fabric at this stage will give a stronger depth of colour and texture when fully felted.

The possibilities of hand stitching into the pre-felts or finished felt will be demonstrated and participants can develop this if relevant to their work and ideas.

Your design will develop through this process and in conjunction with other visual references. Initially making a set of samples and 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 offer individual encouragement to enable you to discover a personal artist approach to develop felted structures for one-off art works, interior or fashion. Teaching will be a mix of demonstrations as well as individual tutorials, group discussion and a Powerpoint 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 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


  • The course cost includes 10 sheets of cartridge paper per student

What students need to bring

  • Please bring any of the following which you already have but do not purchase anything specifically as the following will also be available to borrow or purchase.
  • Merino wool tops, if you already have any. Various colours including black, grey and white (minimum: 200 gms). Select colours, materials, depending on the work you are developing or prefer
  • Small old towel for drying hands and a cloth for mopping water spillage
  • Small selection of coloured open weave fabric
  • Small container (large enough for the hand to lift out water)
  • Small sewing kit (including headed pins)
  • A few sheets of coloured paper or pages from magazines or packaging
  • Camera/phone to record the process of ideas for further work
  • Barrier hand cream if you have sensitive skin (surgical gloves are provided)
  • Reference material: A few images that inspire you (including at least one which you can cut up) and one piece of your textile/art work/photograph. This will be used to make connections with your individual working process, not to copy the image.
  • Paper scissors
  • PVA glue (pritt-stick)
  • Small selection of drawing materials (colour pencils and pastels).
  • 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 (to lay the fleece on.)
  • 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 selection of drawing materials, e.g.coloured pencils and pastels and paper scissors.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Open weave white or black silk fabric and off white muslin
  • Sewing materials – including headed pins and large eyed needles
  • A3 folder/book with plastic sleeves (if you wish to develop a design folder)
  • Art materials and paper
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will have merino wool tops: various colours including black, grey and white (minimum: 200 gms) and a small selection of coloured open weave fabric. The charge for this will be no more than £10 (pay directly by cash or cheque)
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


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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