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Resilient Stitch: Wellbeing and Connection in Textile Art

13/05/2021 6:00 pm – 13/05/2021 7:30 pm | Online

Join textile artist and writer Claire Wellsley-Smith in this online conversation as she discusses her new book Resilient Stitch: Wellbeing and Connection in Textile Art.

Claire Wellesley-Smith has long been fascinated by the concept of ‘resilience’. As part of this talk, hear how she explores this theme in her new book, through the art itself and in the people creating it. Through this conversation, Claire will discuss the concept of resilience and its connection to mental wellbeing. She will also place it into the context of the coronavirus pandemic illustrated by one stitch community’s response to it.

Also hear how she has explored the historic legacy of the textile industry, particularly in West Yorkshire where she lives, discussing the relation of textiles to the environment, highlighting ideas around waste, recycling and climate change. Share in Claire’s passion for the importance of stitch in our communities today and the enduring power of fabric creations passed down through generations.



Following on from her textile hit Slow Stitch, author Claire Wellesley-Smith considers the importance of connection and ideas around wellbeing when using textiles for individuals and communities, including practical ideas around ‘thinking-through-making’, using ‘resonant’ materials and extending the life of pieces using traditional and non-traditional methods. Contemporary textile artists using these themes in their work feature alongside personal work from Claire and examples from community-based textile projects. The book features some of the very best textile artists around, esteemed American fibre artists and the doyenne of textiles, Alice Kettle.

Resilient fabrics that can be manipulated, stressed, withstand tension and be made anew are recommended throughout the book, as well as techniques such as layering, patching, reinforcing, re-stitching and mending, plus ideas for the inclusion of everyday materials in your work. There’s an exploration of ways to link your emotional health with your textile practice, and ‘Community’ suggests ways to make connections with others in your regular textile work. ‘Landscape’ has a range of suggestions and examples of immersing your work in the local landscape, a terrific way to find meaning in your work and a sense of place. Finally, there is a moving account of one textile community’s creative response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.


Claire Wellesley-Smith is a textile artist, writer and researcher, based in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Her long-term community engagement projects explore textile heritage, wellbeing and slow craft techniques. She teaches extensively, working in adult education, schools, community-based projects, museums and galleries. Her workshops involve sustainable stitch, repurposed cloth, and traditional techniques.

When: Thursday 13 May, 6pm – 7.30pm
The tickets are £5 and can be purchased here

Author photo: Carolyn Mendelsohn