Dulwich Open Artists House


I am pleased to be showing my new embroidery and drawings at Artist Open House part of the Dulwich festival. My new works will be shown alongside Julia McKenzie Leonie Kormelink and Robert McKenzie on 13th – 14th and 20th – 21st May 11-6pm at 77 Roxburgh Road, London SE27 OLE
LOVE to see you there!


Reimagining Xiabu

Xiabu web 1

Students and Staff from Chelsea College of Art took part in a project with China exploring techniques to Re think ways to work with traditional Xiabu fabric. Xiabu is hand woven using Ramie commonly known as ‘China Grass’ also know as ‘Summer Cloth’ because of its coolness. The work was exhibited in China Design Centre in Chingqing, China Dec – Jan 2017.
Students showed inventive ways of using the fabric and I exhibited a series of embroideries using creative stitching. The work went onto be exhibited at the China Design Centre during April 2017.

Web Xiabu 2

My embroideries explore creative stitches combining playful shapes combining appliqué and embroidery as a form of drawing with colour, fabric and stitching. Working on organza to create shadow pieces creating abstract compositions.

The Slow Stitch School

Glebe Banner

I ran a Slow Stitch School in the beautiful Glebe House in Clapham Old Town, a grade 11 listed house dating back from 1825. Here we explored some basic embroidery stitches enjoying slow conversation in the lovely surroundings on a Sunday morning.

Processed with MOLDIV

Processed with MOLDIV


Inspired by Mid Century Embroidery manuals by the Needlework Development Scheme we enjoyed creating simple stitches and embroideries. Lovely work with lovely company in lovely surroundings!




Making Print Identities with The Prince’s Trust


Last month The People’s Print were invited to run the taster session for the Makerversity for The Prince’s Trust ‘Get started with product design’, for young unemployed people across the UK who are not in education, employment or training to support them and build their confidence and skills. I kicked off the week with Smorgasboard pattern play workshop,  a creative system devised by myself & Kathryn Round for TED Textile Environmental Design as a model of participatory and sustainable design.

TextileThe system uses Ted Ten No 9 – Design to Dematerialise and Develop Systems and Services and Ted Ten No 5 – Design that explores cleaner and better technologies (digital printing uses less energy and less waste).

Smorgasboard-patternAlong with a pattern play session the students learnt about new digital textile processes and how they are impacting fashion and textile design. The workshop originally developed for the TED (Textile Environmental Design Research Group), ‘encourages analogue play and participatory design’ where users can build their own unique patterns using a selection of rainbow laser cut shapes. Inspired by educationalist and philosopher Friedrich Froebel 1782-1852, founder of the Kindergarten whose pioneering education system taught Klee, Mondrian, Frank Lloyd Wright and Corbusier.

I don’t think the students really expected to be creating patterns by playing with perspex geometric shapes based on Kindergarten play!

After everyone created a geometric pattern with the mathematical perspex shapes we photographed them ready to put into a repeat in Photoshop and upload onto the Bags of Love amazing print to product service who generously sponsored the project by digitally printing 14 aprons!

Brendon Apron

And WOW those beautiful aprons came back two days later ready to greet the students the following week and yes they got it! Proudly wearing their own ‘print identity’ aprons throughout  the workshops  the following week at Makerversity.



And we were thrilled with the results! Every student had created their own print identity that is unique to them with the potential to apply to other products such as skate boards!


Find out more about The Prince’s Trust workshop at Makerversity here.






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With thanks Makerversity, Textiles Futures Research Center, Jane Bates (graphics) and Cristina Schek for Photography.

Print Make Wear book launch 23rd April 2015

Print Make Wear

Print Make Wear is finally out, two years from start to finish, how that time went quickly!

So here it is Print Make Wear – Creative projects for Digital Textile Design publisher Laurence King. It’s basically a recipe book consisting of 14 tutorials to guide you through the process of digital design projects using Photoshop or Illustrator teaching you how design patterns to ready to print, make & wear. Many of the tutorials are inspired by traditional textile processes as a starting point, for example Clara’s  patchwork, Jane’s cross-stitch,  Joanna Fowles shibori and finally Emma Neuberg’s Modern Folk papercuts. There are other contributors too such as Henry Muller Monotone Man tutorials which shows how to create a black and white mirrored design from urban architectural images. Graphic designer Jane Bates brilliantly designs an easy-to-follow layout making the projects accessible and inspiring.


Print Make Wear evolves from the vision of The People’s Print, who celebrate the new era of DIY textile design. Pioneering ways to counter the negative effects of mass consumerism, fast fashion and globalisation by investing in people’s innate creativity. Co-founder Dr Emma Neuberg’s foreword sets the DIY philosophy of the book  “The DIY design revolution is at your finger tips with Print, Make, Wear”  The bookaims  to open up the possibilities that digital textile printing offers us with the growth of digital print bureaus around the country. Encouraging individual creativity from the professional or amateur as well as promoting the digital print bureau’s that are growing and revitalising the textile industry.


I hope this book gives you the tools and experience you need to go forth and create your own, unique designs and turn them into whatever you wish from clothing to home furnishings, with the emphasis on individual creativity. I hope the book empowers the individual to have the confidence to have a go, even if a project is simple or complex everyone can now create their own print identity and wear with pride!

Print Make Wear – Creative Projects for Digital Textile Design by Melanie Bowles publisher Laurence King


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