The Fabric of Flowers - The Embroiderer’s Floral

The Fabric of Flowers - The Embroiderer’s Floral

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This talk is the last in our online series exploring how flowers and gardens have inspired textile artists on Mons@6pm from 19 Sep £5 each

About this event

Our interest in gardens has so much to offer us and in this, our latest series of talks, we are taking a sideways view by exploring how gardens and flowers have influenced and inspired other arts and crafts. This first series of 6 will focus on textiles and explore some of the historical and technical aspects of embroidering, weaving and printing using floral designs on fabric. We will look at textiles from Elizabethan crowns to Edwardian table linen to see how flowers provided inspiration, taking in the prolific art embroiderers of the Arts and Crafts Movement. We will then be brought bang up to date with two contemporary embroiderers with very different approaches to floral imagery who will share their design processes with us.


This ticket is for this individual session and costs £5, and you may purchase tickets for other individual sessions via the links below, or you may purchase a ticket for the entire course of 6 sessions at a cost of £24 via the link here.

Attendees will be sent a Zoom link 2 days prior to the start of the talk, and again a few hours before the talk. A link to the recorded session (available for 1 week) will be sent shortly afterwards.

Due to a recent Apple decision to charge a 30% fee for paid online events unfortunately you may no longer be able to purchase this ticket from the Eventbrite iOS app. Please use a web browser on desktop or mobile to purchase or follow the link here.


Week 1. 19 September: The Broderer’s Crown. First in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £24.

Week 2. 26 September: For Pleasure and Ornament. Second in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £24.

Week 3. 3 October: The English Rose in Life and Textiles. Third in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £24.

Week 4. 10 October: Flax Flower to Fine Linen. Fourth in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £24.

Week 5. 17 October: Gardening with Silk and Gold Thread. Fifth in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £24.

Week 6. 24 October: The Embroiderer’s Floral. Last in a series of 6 online lectures, £5 each or all 6 for £24.


Week 6. 24th October: The Embroiderer’s Floral with Janet Haigh

‘During recent Covid times, I returned to my original practice of stitching flowers onto fabric usually seen as garden portraits. Re-researching my old workbooks, I found delight and reassurance revisiting these earlier drawings, designs and techniques. I particularly enjoyed the hidden symbolism within my “Flora” series, which was inspired by the lengths that man has gone in the attempt to control and manipulate nature, and both the beauty and folly of the results. I imagined a journey from the Roman goddess “Flora”, an earthly “Paradise” and via “Tulipomania” to “Current Breeding Objectives”.

Recently I have stitched real bunches of garden flowers gifted to me during last year’s lockdowns. Made as celebratory embroideries during such difficult times, imagine my shock and utter delight to find that the ‘meanings’ of the beautiful Dahlias, Anemones, Hellebores and Achilleas, when checked against my much-thumbed dictionaries of the arcane “Language of Flowers”, are - instability, sickness, scandal and war’.

Janet Haigh studied Fashion and Textile at Liverpool art College in late 1960’s. Initially a fashion and textile designer in London, she took the post of Senior Lecturer in Textile Design at Bristol UWE. Later becoming a Senior Research Fellow developing textile techniques for other substrates. Janet then developed Heart Space Studios in Bristol, as a hub for teaching and exhibiting local textile practitioners. She has published many stitching books including The Embroiderer’s Floral (2002). Her work now is designing and making varied stitched textile-based work for exhibitions, commissions and publishers, and is at present developing a business to sell Giclee prints of her stitched works.

Image: ©Janet Haigh


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