Chelsea College MA Textile Design show

There seemed to be two dominant themes to the postgraduate textiles show at Chelsea this year: upcycling and working with textile workers in developing countries such as India and Thailand.

Here are a few of my favourites from the show. As usual, no photography was allowed, so images are from the students’ own websites or blogs or from the Chelsea College website.

Sahiba Rajar produced beautiful digital prints decorated with embroidery and applique, inspired by the Makli Tombs in Pakistan.

Kristel Erga recycles textile scraps into magnetic jigsaw pieces used as wall coverings – designs include felt fringes, and delicate butterflies and flowers.

Lisa Hawthorne takes remnants, vintage fabrics and locally sourced materials and transforms them using nuno felt, beading and other embellishments. Her work made me want to try experimenting with nuno felt on velvet.

Chia Shan Lee knits gorgeous garments with yarn made from newspaper, sometimes mixed with wool. I wonder what happens if you wear them in the rain?

Keely Butler’s wispy weed prints look like cyanotypes, but in fact she stains the fabric with blackberry, red cabbage, blueberry and cherry. Yum!

Finally, there is nothing new under the sun. Hanging on the outside of Chelsea College was a collection of coloured discs. As I got closer, it became apparent that they were crocheted out of plastic bags. Yes – they were (much) larger versions of the coasters  I crocheted earlier this year from plarn and then ironed. They were the work of Ji Na Sung, who had also extended the concept into making large boxes and plant holders.

Maybe I should sign up for an MA next year!

Published by


Flextiles uses shibori, ecoprinting and felting to create original, one-off upcycled pieces. Extending the life of a garment by an extra nine months reduces its environmental impact by 20-30%.

7 thoughts on “Chelsea College MA Textile Design show”

  1. As a felter myself I’m following your blog with great interest. Did some shibori dyeing on silk velvet this past summer an have now attempted to felt on it. Guess it means felting on the back side of the fabric since it keeps sliding off on the other side. Super curious to hear how you succeed!
    Greetings from Central New York, US!

    I just love reading your blog btw. It really inspires me!

    1. Hi Maria,

      Thanks for your kind comments on the blog – welcome aboard! 🙂

      You don’t by any chance know Josephine, who posted quite a similar comment the other day? Either that or there’s a lot of experimenting going on with felting on silk velvet! 😉

      I’d be very interested to see the results of your shibori dyeing on velvet – do you have a blog or any photos? I’ve done one small experiment with shibori dyeing on felt though not had time to pursue it any further. But I picked up a grubby cream cashmere scarf at a market the other day, so after cleaning it up a bit I’m going to try shibori on that. Watch this space!


  2. Yup, we actually do quite a lot of experimenting together. Didn’t realize she had already posted something. And yes, I saw your shibori dyed felt things. Looks really nice!.
    I’ll be following your attempts with great interest!
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Fascinating blog. Given the economy we might all be wearing alternative fabrics, but at least we shall do so with style!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.