Reshaping cloth – print and manipulation with Caroline Bartlett

Art textiles

Ref: SSS11649

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About this course

Drawing on aspects of shibori, origami, sublimation printing and contemporary approaches to materials, you will crumple, crush, fold, pleat, and colour. Create exploratory textiles with potential application for fashion, accessories, interiors or textile art.

Course Description

Investigate formal and more organic possibilities of manipulating the surface into relief and three-dimensional structures. Drawing on aspects of shibori, origami, sublimation printing and contemporary approaches to materials we will crumple, crush, fold, pleat, and colour to create exploratory pieces with potential application for fashion, accessories, interiors or textile art.

Examine a range of techniques found in shibori and origami for structural inspiration, and explore aspects of these through using folding, pleating, stitching, crumpling and crushing, and the making of two-part origami moulds. Investigation of the formal and more organic possibilities of these methods of structuring the surface will involve working with paper as a quick means of generating ideas. Heat setting processes using steam, will be used to reshape the fabric surfaces into two-dimensional surfaces or three-dimensional structures. You will look at the behavioural properties of different fibres and their capacity to be set temporarily (natural fibres) or more permanently (synthetics), taking on the memory of what has been done to them. Colouring methods will involve transfer/sublimation printing which is a method applicable to to synthetics rather than natural fibres.

As the work progresses, you will be introduced to ideas of enhancing the form using colour through simple and immediate methods of marking the surface through transfer (sublimation printing on synthetics). You will be encouraged to combine and select from techniques to develop individual interests and approaches. Ideas will be discussed in relation to concepts generated through the processes used.

Summer School highlights:

The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)

• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio

• A celebration dinner on the last evening, with a surrealist theme inspired by Salvador Dalí, who was one of West Dean founder, Edward James’ friends and collaborators. (Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.)

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios

As evening events are planned as part of the Summer School week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully. A detailed timetable will be given to all students on arrival.

(Please note that plans may be subject to change depending on GOV.UK guidance at the time.)


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


  • The course fee includes the materials shared amongst the group; including use of heat transfer dyes, fabric marker pens, cotton yarn, photocopy paper, aluminium foil, baking parchment, newsprint.

What students need to bring

  • You will find it useful to have some visual imagery related to form such as architecture. Corals, unusual plant forms, funghi, microorganisms etc.
  • 1 box paper clips or mini pegs/clips
  • Sewing kit to include: scissors for paper, fabric and small embroidery scissors; dressmaker pins; range of sewing needles; a quick unpick; a few hand embroidery threads; a small ball of crochet cotton size10; extra strong sewing thread.
  • Objects to tie in such as metal washers, chickpeas, white kidney beans, toothpicks, buttons, paper clips. These will be subjected to heat so nothing that will melt
  • Brushes to include a 1 inch household brush or equivalent
  • Cutting knife such as a scalpel or craft knife
  • A bone folder if you have one
  • Sketchbook/notebook
  • Camera for recording
  • Overall and gloves
  • Fabrics:
  • A selection of synthetic fabric samples at least A3 in size. The most useful are crisp transparent fabrics such as nylon or polyester organza, and stiffer fabrics such as polyester taffeta, thin polyester fleece, felt, paper nylon.
  • A selection of natural fabrics such as calico, organdie and organza in the natural fabrics. These are fabrics which will hold a crease well but as natural fabrics are not suitable for the dye techniques we will be using.
  • You might choose to work with a selected colour palette and bring fabric already dyed and coloured. There will be opportunity to colour edges etc. but we will not be undertaking major colouring of natural fabrics. Synthetic fabrics have the ability to be set permanently and coloured through sublimation printing so have advantages for these techniques.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sketchbooks
  • Brushes
  • Some natural fabrics
  • Machine and hand embroidery threads
  • Colouring media of various types
  • Bone folders
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will bring some fabrics for sale, as required
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Caroline Bartlett

Caroline trained in printed textiles before completing a postgraduate at Goldsmiths and an MA in Public Art. Her practice employs various textile processes and has included responses to historic locations and museum collections. She exhibits in the U.K. and internationally and her work is represented in several public collections.


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

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