Community Learning: Introduction to Textiles

Course overview

We are surrounded by fabric all our lives. On this course led by professional artist, Lu Firth, you will learn how to use natural dyes and produce intricate designs with the ancient techniques of Batik.

Lu trained at Camberwell School of Art in London, specialising in textile and theatre design at Croydon Art College. With twenty years of experience, she has taught at many arts centres and with the Morley College community learning in London. She has designed textiles and fashion for exhibitions and costumes for many theatre productions. 

With Lu, you will be in an environment of people passionate about textiles, which will improve your emotional wellbeing.

You are welcome to join all or any of the following Friday afternoons, from 1–3pm:


  • October 7, 14, 21
  • November 4, 11, 18, 25
  • December 2, 9, 16


  • January 20, 27
  • February 3, 10, 24
  • March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Our Community Learning programme offers a series of free, government-funded courses to develop skills, knowledge, confidence and improve mental wellbeing for adults aged 19 and over (at the start of the course). Participation can help those managing mental health conditions that have a mild-moderate impact on their day to day lives.

Please visit our Community Learning homepage to see if you are eligible for a free place.

You will develop sample designs and a final piece using various techniques, including:

  • Batik, a resist dye technique, using hot wax to produce a design on cloth
  • Indigo, an ancient and culturally specific natural dye that has been used for thousands of years in Asia, Africa and Europe. You will learn about this unique dying process and its culturally specific uses within many designs, patterns, and textures.
  • Procion dyes and you will be kept as your own sample book for future reference. You will use your learnt skills and design to produce one final piece e g. a scarf, cushion cover, bag etc.
  • Introduction to Felt Making, which will give you the skills to make your own cloth using wool fleece.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • understand traditional and contemporary practices in Batik, Indigo dyeing and Felt Making
  • use a variety of specialist tools
  • apply your design to a final project
  • have an understanding of sustainable textile practices

The course will be taught in a group format, with opportunity for individual 1:1 support and personal guidance for everyone from the tutor. You will have regular constructive feedback in a supportive environment, with demonstrations and presentations.

All main materials will be provided, yet please bring along a sketchbook and pencil.

Course Has Started Enquire Below
  • Flexible start - 31 July 2023
  • 13:00 - 15:00
  • Friday
  • 20 Weeks
    • 16-18: Free

      Funded places are available on this course. Read the course description for details.

    • Adult: Free

      Funded places are available on this course. Read the course description for details.

Enquire about this course

Alternatively enrol by phone quoting OXAEL67D0 or ask a question

Meet the tutors

We want our learners to feel welcome, safe and at ease when attending our classes, especially if this is your first time attending an adult education class or if you're coming back to education after a break.
If you're interested in one of courses, meet our tutors first! You'll see they have similar passions and interests and, most importantly, the right qualifications to help you make the most of your time and money.