Waste not – screenprinting and stitch to re-imagine found fabrics with Maxine Sutton

Art textiles

Ref: SLW11974

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About this course

Learn basic screenprinting on textiles skills, together with stitch and appliqué techniques to explore the value of preloved and waste materials.

Course Description

This course explores the possibilities that open up when we think about using less and creating more with what we already have. Especially since the textile industry, in terms of energy and toxicity of production and landfill-waste, contributes significantly to carbon emissions and global warming.

Learning simple screenprinting techniques using paper cut stencils and open screen work, you will be introduced to mixing colour by hand with pigments and textile binders. The tutor will guide you through experiments with preloved or waste fabric or textiles, as you combine print with traditional needlework techniques to create exciting new textile pieces that consciously address and re-imagine the value of waste. Practical demonstrations, one-to-one tuition, and group critiques aim to develop your confidence and the ability to express your ideas.

You will look at scale, line and form, and how to interpret inspirational imagery and translate your ideas. This will be based on simple imagery you bring for your creative explorations, such as drawings, sketches, sketchbooks, clippings and photos. Consideration will be given to textures and weight, and construction, and the application of colour on to existing textures, patterns and prints. You will learn and develop skills in mixing colour, basic stencil screenprinting, composition, hand embroidery and machine techniques. Also, how to create tension and interest through stitched details, line and appliquéd elements.

This course has a creative and experimental focus, rather then an end or final product. However, discussion may include directions and uses and there will be the opportunity to develop unique functional pieces, such as homewares, artworks or series of samples.


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


  • On this course the College will supply some of the materials, including printing pigments and binders, used by the group as a whole. Screenprinting equipment is also provided for use. Also one metre of scoured cotton fabric is supplied for initial test prints. (You will need to bring other fabrics to print on – please see list below.)

What students need to bring

  • Fabric – it is suggested you bring a range of pre-used textiles. Light coloured fabrics and natural fibres are recommended as base material for printing on, but you may also incorporate stripes, spots and prints and any textured or dark fabrics you want to experiment with. Also bring any smaller pieces that you may want to include in your work, including fabric scraps/off-cuts for appliqué.
  • Bondaweb
  • Scissors and any items you have on the list stocked by the College Craft Shop
  • Variety of yarns and cottons for embroidery, both hand and machine threads
  • Your sewing machine (please let us know if you plan to bring your machine or if you would like to reserve a College machine by emailing bookingsoffice@westdean.ac.uk)
  • An apron/overalls, protective gloves (or other suitable protective clothing) is also essential

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Base fabric, i.e. plain undyed cottons and calico in various weights are available (you will need around 4M of fabric in total)
  • Fabric hoops
  • Sewing needles and a small range of coloured machine threads and stranded hand embroidery threads
  • Water soluble pens, pens and pencils
  • Paper masking tape
  • A craft knife or scalpel
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toed shoes or sandals.


Maxine Sutton

Maxine Sutton makes contemporary embroidered and printed textiles which move across the boundaries of craft, art and design. She trained in Fine Art at Kent and in Constructed Textiles at the RCA.


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. 

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