Kate Whitehead

A brief biography


Kate is an artist and

designer specialising

in weave and



Kate enjoys working with paper and poor materials such as calico, muslin, scrim and salvaged fabrics. Her work often involves patching and mending; it has a feel of materials found and restored to produce desirable and treasured pieces. Kate produces unconventional artefacts that can be worn, hung or framed. The work explores the possibilities in the forgotten, overlooked and abandoned.


Her passion and creativity has earned her success, as she has received many awards in the UK for her work. This year Kate was awarded the

Clothworkers’ Foundation Award 
2nd prize for a material construction for either fashion or interior products produced by non-conventional processes or new technologies.


Clothworkers’ Foundation Award 
Commendation for a fabric for either fashion or interiors which shows an innovative combination of textile processes.


Kate also exhibited at the Selvedge Magazine Spring Fair in London.

Weaving & Embroidery with

Kate Whitehead


Friday July 8th to Friday July 15th 2016





Come and spend an amazing week experimenting with indigo dye, weave and stitch in this very special course with fabulous textile artist & designer Kate Whitehead!


Kate dyes, weaves and embroiders the most beautiful pieces, from handwoven shawls and woven hangings to cuffs, bowls and kimonos. They implore to be touched, each piece made from materials such as salavaged fabrics with meaning, calico, muslim, scrim and paper, which Kate describes as "poor materials". She then makes the cloth "richer" through patching and mending and more desirable by fashioning it into her stunning accessories, upholstery fabrics and wall hangings.


For this course you are invited to bring your own pieces of fabric and garments that have a special story, memory and meaning. You will dismantle and have the opportunity to dip dye with indigo your selected materials. Your chosen dipped dyed fabric lengths will then be used to create a unique pieces of weave to love and cherish that can be worn, hung or framed.

Additional fabric will be available to complement the special pieces that you have brought with you. 

Day 1

Arrive today. Meet and greet supper with wine to get your creative juices flowing! Kate will display her work and discuss how she made it.


Day 2

Introduction to dip dying with indigo and the production of plain weave structures. Discussion of colour combinations and texture.

Experiment with dip dying fabrics in the indigo bath, hanging and drying.


Day 3 is an outing day to the Puces de la Cité in Limoges.

Whilst at the flea market search for vintage fabrics, lace and other haberdashery notions which we can incorporate into our work. Make drawings and take notes.


Day 4

Creating fabric ribbon to be used in the weave.

Design the woven pieces you would like to produce. Kate will inspire you with her samples and discuss your design ideas with you.

Selection of colour and material of warp.

Produce a warp on a frame loom.

Day 5

Spend the day weaving on your frame loom.


Day 6 is an outing day to the Tapestry Museums at Aubusson.

Look for ideas and inspiration here, take photos and make notes and drawings. Look for colours and textures and imagery from the tapestries.


Day 7

Continue weaving on your frame loom.

Embellishing and finishing your work.


Day 8 Today we will say our goodbyes and 'tie up any loose ends'. Most flights are later in the afternoon so the studio will be open for you to use all morning followed by lunch before you leave.


Kate says of her work:


"My work is a protest against the way textiles are consumed in western society. I’m tired of a world in which clothes are produced and thrown away without thought to the consequences; where the fashion industry and media impose identities on us. My rebellion is to go back to slower processes, embrace tradition, salvage the discarded, fix the broken.

In my weaving and embroidery I explore the potential of the forgotten, overlooked and abandoned. I revel in discovering humble, quiet fabrics like calicos and cottons; the more worn, faded and story-laden the better; and giving them a second chance. I take time to imagine the history of every piece, exploring its hues and tones, examining its tears and frays, weighing up its foibles."


© 2016 Kate Whitehead

To reserve a place on this course

click here to visit our deposits page to pay online.




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Pendinnis Gardens


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