Artists and Designers

Some of my favourite artists and designers using fabric manipulation techniques in craft, fashion, interiors and design.

Anne Kyyro Quinn is a stalwart of the textile interior design world. Her early collections of cushions and occasional furniture were in every contemporary design shop when I was just starting out and I have long been fascinated by her techniques. I particularly like her use of a single colour and single technique in her pieces which give them elegance and allow the effect of the technique to shine. She uses thick industrial wool felt  combined with precision cutting, folds, twists and stitching to create extraordinary effects. Her most popular design is the twisted and stitched technique, similar to Tuck & Fold, but created with individual strips of felt.

Karina Thompson creates extraordinarily-detailed and textural wall-hangings using stitch and slash technique. The photos on her website don’t do justice to the beautiful techniques she uses to create multi-dimensional pieces – there are some good images here. The technique is explored in depth in Fabric Manipulation including a number of folding variations inspired by Karina’s work.



Helen Amy Murray has been making sculpted leather furniture and interior pieces since 2003. I first saw her work right at the start of her career at New Designers and was immediately fascinated by the technique. Cut-surface quilting, my interpretation of her technique is included in Fabric Manipulation. Helen Amy Murray’s designs are usually created in fine leather, machine stitched and then cut – I believe they are now cut by laser rather than by hand.

Deepa Panchamia is a British artist specialising in sculptural textile installations for interiors. She uses neutral, often transparent fabrics and fabric manipulation techniques including pleating and folding to create architectural pieces.

Alabama Chanin. Ethical fashion designer Natalie Chanin has been creating beautiful reverse applique from jersey fabrics for several years. She has also produced three books exploring the techniques.

Tinctory. Eva works with naturally-dyed fabrics and traditional English smocking techniques to create delicate textile jewellery pieces. She has also used shibori pleating.

Smocked pendant by Tinctory

Smocked pendant by Tinctory

Alison Willoughby is a British textile artist who became known for her embellished skirts using a variety of innovative techniques including fabric manipulation. Her book 49 1/2 skirts explains many of the techniques.

Lorna Syson uses a range of folded manipulations to create textural wall pieces.

British textile designer Nitin Goyal creates stunning, luxurious home textiles using American smocking techniques and has created a huge amount of exciting and innovation variations on the technique.

Many fashion designers, past and present, have used fabric manipulation techniques in some of their collections, including Yohji Yamamoto and Elsa Schiaparrelli; there are plenty of modern and historic examples of fabric manipulation in clothing on my Pinterest boards: Fabric Manipulation, Pleating, Trapunto, Gathering, Appliqué and Scalloped edges.

Do you know of anyone else I could feature in this section? Please let me know in the comments below.

One thought on “Artists and Designers

  1. I have been merging smocking and silk painting techniques for a number of years. Though my website is still in the rough; it is

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