Textile techniques – mini workshops summer 2017

Textile techniques – mini workshops
Textile techniques toolbox
Altered States Exhibition

This year started off with some mini workshops put on by WAFTA members. I was able to go to 3 of them and tutor one myself. The aim of these textile techniques teasers was to inspire other members participating in the upcoming Altered States exhibition. This exhibition takes the form of a mystery bag challenge. Members are required to make a 2D (30x30cm) or 3D (30x30x30cm) artwork made from materials found in their unique bags. These mini workshops were just a few hours long. This was enough to refresh or get a taste for different skills and /or potentially use them to transform their ‘challenge items’.

Surface Design -Print and Dye

Louise Wells covered a multitude of surface design options on fabrics as well as some dying. We made numerous samples – great for future reference and exploration. In just a few hours we had covered basic screen printing ideas, gelli plate printing, fugitive medium, stamping and stencilling.  The dyeing of my plastic collation was particularly exciting.

Its not just about the rugs

Jo Franco is a well known rugmaker – here and overseas. She demonstrated a few of the many types of rug-hooking techniques. Some can be used in surprising ways (ie not for rugs!) to add dimension, texture and colour. Jo Franco is chair of Rughooking Australia as well as being the WAFTA Librarian. She edits the RA website and You can read more on the blog


Margaret Ford gave participants a taste of eco-dyeing using simple mordants and easily available plants. She even had some thrifty ideas on pantry dyeing. Laying out various plant matter on our fabrics, we proceeded to bundle them tightly. We used a variety of resist methods and them steamed or boiled them. Margaret had given us each a selection of fabrics to try and the results were unpredictable and exciting!

Fun Spin!

I was unable to attend Anne Williams workshop on using a drop spindle as I was in a beading workshop. Hope WAFTA runs it again as I would like to be able to make lengths of yarn to include in my felting. Sounds like it was a lot of fun according to WAFTA’s blog.

Glue gun techniques

My workshop on glue guns for textiles was the first of the textile techniques for the year.  Excerpt of review by Jo Franco of the Australian Rugmakers and Wafta member :
What could one learn in a “Gluing Workshop” – glue is for joining and repair, right? WAFTA member Sara Quail gave a workshop focused on, in her words, “Embracing your glue gun and emblazoning fabrics by embellishing, embedding, embossing and more……. Creating a decorative, dimensional and structural medium for integrating with textiles” – all done with everyday items from the kitchen (Silicone moulds, wooden skewers, drinking straws) and recycled items – scraps of fabric, feathers and beads……….

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