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Introduction to Stitched Textiles

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Artists make marks in many ways – with pencil, ink, paint and some with thread and stitch. This course will introduce you to line: drawing and mark-making and how it can be translated into textile art. Through a series of drawing exercises, we will explore the essence and character of line and how it can be translated into creative stitch. Working from our drawing or directly on to a range of surfaces you will experiment with hand- and machine-stitched marks resulting in a finished work.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous experience required.

Special Infomation

Essential materials you will need to bring to the first class:

Basic Art and Design Kit – should include:
  • Hard backed sketchbook/drawing paper
  • Some drawing materials, pencils, charcoal, pastels, inks,
  • Scissors/craft knife
  • Glue – Pritt stick, PVA
  • Brushes, sponges, spatulas, rollers, things to apply paint with
  • A small selection of acrylic paints. optional

Basic Sewing Kit - should include:

  • Selection of needles (embroidery/general selection) and pins
  • Fabric Scissors and small embroidery scissors
  • A quick unpick (a small sharp device for unpicking stitching)
  • Threads for hand and machine embroidery (black, white, grey with one or two colours)
  • Embroidery hoop – 22cm approx.
  • Some plane white/cream cotton fabrics, muslin, calico, and lawn. Approx. 50cm. fabrics can be recycled, shirts sheeting etc.
  • Bond-a-web.

The following materials may be useful later in the course:

  • Soluble Fabrics
  • Baking parchment/silicon paper
  • Fabrics scraps, buttons, ribbon and odds and ends found in your sewing box
  • Selection of papers

Materials and equipment provided for students as part of the course and included in course fee:

  • Some basic sewing equipment/threads/needles /scissors etc.
  • Sewing machines
  • Iron/ironing board
  • Heat tools
  • Selection of sewing machine needles
  • Bobbins (Janome/Bernena)

Content of Course

The course teaching is delivered over an intensive period of three consecutive day sessions, each with six hours class contact time.

Over the class sessions the course will cover:

  • Day 1 -  Introduction to Fine Art Textiles – mark-making through drawing/developing a sketchbook
  • Day 2. Mark-making with stitch – exploring hand/machine sewing on a range of experimental grounds
  • Day 3 -  Developing a finished work

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • develop a personal language through building a sketchbook or visual journal which explores the creative potentials of line through drawing and its translation into stitch;
  • realise the creative potential of textiles and stitch through samples and experimentation, evolving an ambitious personal creative outcome;
  • select and edit a coherent a range of samples and finished works which demonstrate a creative and informed use of stitch and textiles techniques


Core Readings

  • Kovats, Tania, 2007. The Drawing Book: a survey of drawing: the primary means of expression. London: Black Dog Publishing
  • Koumis, Matthew, ed., Art Textiles of the World. Brighton: Telos Art (various books in series)
  • Kettle, A. and McKeating, J. 2010. Machine Stitch: Perspectives. London: A & C Black
  • Oei, Loan and de Kegal, Cecile, 2002. The Elements of Design: rediscovering colors, textures, forms, and shapes. New York: Thames and Hudson
  • Monem, N.K., ed., 2008. Contemporary Textiles:  the fabric of fine art.  London: Black Dog Publishing

Exhibition Catalogues

  • Miller, Lesley, 2008. Cloth and Culture (Salisbury Centre exhibition catalogue)


  • Embroidery    

Class Handouts

Contemporary textile artist/materials suppliers


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.