The Big Textile Show 2015

Coat of Curses by Kasia Howard at The Big Textile Show, 2015

The Big Textile Show: fabric, fibre and yarn

In my last post I told you about the Mini car yarn bomb at The Big Textile Show. Today I’m going to write about some of the exhibitions, workshops and stalls at the show.


As usual there was a lot of fabulous work on display from local and regional groups, including the Lutterworth Embroiders Guild, Meniscus Textile Artists, Leicestershire Bobbin Lace Guild, The Braid Society and Leicestershire Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.

Linda Rudkin, one of the Meniscus Textile Artists works with natural dyes. She had a her own “mini-exhibition” showing the effects of over 60 natural dyes. You can see some of her display boards below.

Natural Dye display by Linda Rudkin

Each display board illustrates experiments with single dye on different fabrics, yarns and threads, as well as giving information about the dye plant and hints for using it. The boards are beautifully presented and must have involved a colossal amount of work. Linda has used the dyed thread for embroidery, which you can see these on the left-hand side of each board. She has written a book, “Natural Dyes” published by A&C Black Ltd, in which some of these boards have been used to illustrate the effects of the dyes.

Natural Dye display by Linda Rudkin

Take a look at see Linda’s art pieces to see how she uses her knowledge of natural dyes: Suffragette Banner, Wastelines, and Rock Pool.

I also enjoyed talking to Kasia Howard about the Coat of Curses. This project was inspired by the curses placed on Richard III by his enemies in Shakespeare’s play. The curses are being embroidered by Kasia and volunteers; the have completed cursing the lining of the coat and now are working on the outside.

Coat of Curses by Kasia Howard at The Big Textile Show, 2015
Coat of Curses by Kasia Howard at The Big Textile Show, 2015

Kasia and I had an interesting conversation about the links of Richard III and other high-profile people of the era with this area.


Oh, yes! Temptation! You know that there will be temptation on the trader’s stands at events such as The Big Textile Show.

Look at these fabulous printing blocks. They are designed by Block Craft (part of The Arty Crafty Place) and handmade in India. You could have so much fun with them! They also sell fabric, fabric paint, printing trays and kits.

Printing blocks from Block Craft The Big Textile Show, 2015

The Block Craft team were demonstrating how to use the blocks for printing.

Demonstration of block printing by Block Craft, The Big Textile

Nearby was Whistling Duck Alpacas from Aston-on-Trent. Leigh Woods told me about her award winning alpaca herd.

Whistling Duck Alpacas at The Big Textile Show, 2015

Leigh sells alpaca fleece and yarn. Each colour is named after the animals from which the fleeces came, so there is Miss Lily, Arabian Night, Indiana Sun and Sweet Alice. Very tempting!

Yarn from Whistling Duck Alpacas


This is the second year that I’ve taught workshops at The Big Textile Show. I had been asked to teach the Knitted Flower Corsage workshop on Saturday and the Simple Crochet Necklace workshop on Sunday.

Come Saturday morning, no one had signed up for the flower workshop; by lunch still no one had signed up. I was asked to set-up anyway, in case there were any last minute bookings; it all looks lovely doesn’t it! Well no one signed up, but one lady wandering by did say that she really wanted to do the Simple Crochet Necklace workshop, but couldn’t come on Sunday. So, that’s what we did: an impromptu necklace workshop!

Knitted Flower Corsage workshop The Big Textile Show, 2015

The official Simple Crochet Necklace workshop took place on Sunday afternoon, with plenty of participants. The necklace is actually really simple to make. The beginners all made good progress, even though we were using fine thread and hooks. And I had plenty of time to help those who could already crochet to improve the way that they hold their yarn so that they can crochet more fluidly and have better tension control.

Simple Crochet Necklace workshop at The Big Textile Show, 2015

My treats!

Do you want to see what I bought? Just a few treats. Firstly, these rather cute robins to go on the Christmas tree. These are made by Alison from Feltings. You can see more of her felted goodies in a my post about Maker’s Yard.

Cute Robins from Feltings at The Big Textile Show, 2015

I also bought a couple of fascinating books from The Old Bookshop. These were first published in 1953, so they are vintage books on modern lace knitting! I’m looking forward to experimenting with some of the ideas in these books.

Knitted Lace Books from The Big Textile Show, 2015

And I also bought a printing tray and foam pad from Block Craft, but since they’re not as pretty as the blocks I showed you above, I’ve not taken a photo of them.