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Textiles: Introduction to Stitch (Non-credit)

Course Times & Enrolment

Wednesdays from 25th September 2024 (Code TX051-103) Add to Basket Wednesdays from
25th September 2024 6:00pm - 9:00pm • (10 classes)
G09/10 Thomson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Yusra Makhdoomi
£295.00 Concessions and discounts

Course Summary

Students will learn the creative potential of hand and machine embroidery, exploring how stitch can be used as an expressive medium to create art pieces. You will discover new ways of seeing and interpreting the world through form, colour and texture. Alongside learning traditional stitch techniques students will also be encouraged to explore more experimental approaches and discover innovative methods of working. This course will also emphasise creative research to develop a personal project, leading to a thoughtful and enriched portfolio of samples and artworks.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment


Special Information

Materials you will need to bring to the first class:

  • Basic art supplies such as paper scissors, glue stick, masking tape, ruler, eraser, pencil sharpener etc
  • Drawing materials: Bring a range such as pencils, drawing pens, pastels, charcoal, brushes, ink, paints, oil bars, chalks etc
  • Mark-making tools: These could be brushes, scrapers, sticks, a toothbrush, old store card, sponges etc.
  • Cartridge Paper: A2 size
  • Other coloured papers: Neutral colours such as grey, brown, black, cream etc. They can be different types or weights for example watercolour paper, khadi paper, tracing paper etc.
  • Sketchbook: A2 size, hardback with a spine (not ring bound)

In addition to the course fee, students are expected to provide the following list of indicative tools, materials and equipment:

  • Various sized needles
  • Dress making pins
  • Fabric scissors 
  • Small embroidery scissors
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine needles 
  • Sewing machine bobbins 
  • Embroidery hoop (22cm approx.)
  • Selection of threads for hand and machine stitching
  • Embroidery threads
  • Neutral coloured cotton fabric: calico, muslin or lawn in white or cream.
  • Any interesting or unusual materials that could be used to stitch with.
  • Material scraps: Could be pieces of any repurposed/found fabrics or materials that would be interesting to experiment with.
  • Bondaweb
  • Images and inspiration for sketchbook and personal project development
  • Mount board/ neutral coloured card to display work

Content of Course

  • Introduction to textile art and stitch as a fine art medium.
  • Drawing: Experimental drawing and mark making for inspiration.
  • Hand sewing: Mark making with hand stitching techniques.
  • Machine stitch: Drawing with a sewing machine.
  • Creative research: Developing a design concept using sketchbooks or moodboards.
  • Experimental Stitch: Exploring unconventional materials and combining different techniques.
  • Personal project: Development of a personal project.
  • Presenting work: Learning how to display your research and samples.

Teaching method(s)

The teaching will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Over the course, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor.  Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

For work required to be undertaken after the class hours are complete, the course tutor will set students a ‘directed study plan’ which can be undertaken without the need for specialist workshops or access to models.

Directed study will include research into a range of suggested artists and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness. Students are expected to demonstrate how their research has informed their work through annotated sketchbooks, a visual digital journal and practical outcomes. 

The Directed Study Plan will include preparing evidence of research and practical work to form an appropriate presentation for assessment.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Use a range of research strategies to develop a personal language through the use of the sketchbook or visual journal, which demonstrates an understanding and contextual awareness of the creative potential of stitch.

  • Demonstrate the basic skills of hand and machine stitch, by producing a range of experimental samples, exploring the qualities unique to mark making with thread and stitch.

  • Demonstrate an awareness of how to document, edited and select a coherent body of work, which has been underpinned by your research and practice.


Core Readings


  • Oei, L. and De Kegel, C., 2002,  mElements of Design., London: Thames and Hudson.

  • Monem, N., ed., 2008, Contemporary Textiles - fabric of fine art, London:  Black Dog Publishing.

  • Hedley, G. 2010. Drawn To Stitch. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press LLC.

  • Kovats, Tania. 2005. The Drawing Book. London: Black Dog.

  • Art Textiles of the World series, Telos Books.

  • Millar, Lesley, and Astrida Berzina. 2007. Cloth And Culture Now. Canterbury: University for the Creative Arts.

  • Textural Space. 2001. [Surrey]: Surrey Institute of Art and Design University College, Print.

  • Elderton, L. and Morris, R., 2019, Vitamin T: Thread & Textiles in Contemporary Art. London: Phaidon Press Limited. 

  • Hedley, G., 2010, Drawn to Stitch: Line, Drawing and Mark-Making in Textile Art, London: Batsford.

  • Wellesley-Smith, C., 2021, Resilient Stitch, London: Batsford.

Journal and periodicals:

  • Selvage

  • Crafts Magazine

  • The Journal of WSD

  • Embroidery

Web Sources


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.