Foundation Course

Dates for 2013

March 18th to June 28th or October 7th to January 31st (2014)

Developing Creativity

Over the past 18 months, I have had the great pleasure of working with students who would like to develop their textile skills and also those who would like to pursue a career in this exciting and satisfying arena.

As we’ve worked together, I’ve had the chance to closely observe how I could best take students on to develop their technical skills to a high level and really begin to explore personal creativity.  I am now excited to announce that I have formulated an in-depth four month course of foundation workshops ideal for those of you who aspire to a career in textiles or who want to stretch those skills still further with The Textile Space.   The course is also perfect for those who need to prepare an impressive portfolio for college or university entrance interviews.

There is no age limit for this new course; anyone with a genuine interest and curiosity in making the best of their skills will find it fascinating and constructive.

So how does it work?

We will begin with sketchbooks and research techniques, which will allow you to develop your own ideas.  Next you will carry out three major practical projects as well as one written research project over the course of the four months.  You can choose to concentrate on either Textiles or Fashion and Textiles.

This foundation course has been very carefully devised so that there are plenty of hands on workshops, giving you the chance to fine-tune your skills as well as learning new ones, which will feed into your projects.  Alongside the practical skills, you will receive a one to one tutorial every week as well as a group tutorial every other week at The Textile Space.

To help stimulate your imagination, we will take three trips to museums and galleries whilst you’re with us and we will welcome practitioners in the arts to talk to us about their own style and method.


The projects that you will be working on will include work inspired by contemporary artists, Historical detail, Memory and the Working World.  Through these projects you will have the opportunity to develop and create your own ideas.  The workshops will work alongside your personal projects to help support your ideas and learning.

At the end of each project you will have a completed piece so you will through the process also learn to work to deadlines, structure and notate your working processes.
This is very much about the process of discovering what you would like to make.
You will be supported all along the way by myself, Claire and Alison



Below are some of the many techniques that will be covered during the foundation

Free hand machine embroidery

Felt making


Pattern cutting


Fabric manipulation




Tailoring Techniques

Hand Embroidery

The practical stuff


The foundation runs for 16 weeks. The studio will be available to you from Monday to Saturday 9am – 6pm as well as occasional Sundays by arrangement.

How many on a course?

I will be offering only four places on each foundation course so spaces are very limited.

Entry Requirements?

To make sure that the course will meet your requirements, entry is by personal interview with me, Deborah Harwood at The Textile Space.  You do not need any formal qualification or practical experience; this foundation is designed to give you the freedom to develop your creativity.  The course itself will demand lots of independent learning from students together with hard work, supported, of course, every step of the way by the Textile Space team.


The studio is housed in a beautiful 18th century grade II listed barn on the edge of the Goodwood Estate and nestled at the foot of the South Downs.  There is plenty of free parking right outside.  You will have your own dedicated workspace as well as use of all machines and equipment in the studio – sewing machines, overlockers, cutting tables etc.  You will need to bring your own laptop or iPad but we do have a very good library of books!


The fee for the four month foundation course in Textiles or Textiles and Fashion costs £3,200 and includes all tuition, workshop materials and museum and gallery visits.

A £500 non refundable deposit is payable on booking the Foundation and the balance payable two weeks prior to commencement.  Once the Foundation starts fees are non refundable.  However, should The Textile Space have to cancel for any reason a pro rata refund will be made.

You will be required to pay for any fabric you choose to make your final projects with and if you develop a project requiring free hand machine embroidery, you will need to pay for the extra thread.  We will provide you with one good quality sketchbook at the beginning of term; if you need more, you will be expected to provide these.  We have a wide selection of art materials such as oil pastels, acrylics etc which are at your disposal but you will need to bring along any other which you would like to use instead.

Who we are

Deborah  Harwood moved from London to West Sussex in 2002 and started a small business creating bespoke hand made textiles, including wall hangings and cushions working predominantly to private commission. Deborah undertook the merchandise design for Chichester Festival Theatre and designed cushions for both Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival meeting. In 2005 she went to Winchester School of Art and gained a BA (hons) in Textile Art. Since graduating Deborah has been teaching at local schools and privately in her own studio, whilst continuing to develop her own practice.  Deborah is also an Artist Educator at Pallant House Gallery.  Deborah opened The Textile Space in November 2010. You can see some of her work at

Claire Tyler ran her own haberdashery and fabric store in Littlehampton for 12 years. She has run classes in dressmaking from the shop and also carries out an alteration service.  Alongside this work she makes wedding, evening and prom dresses to order. Claire has done her City and Guilds in Fashion and Pattern cutting at Chichester College and has attended further courses elsewhere to increase her skills including shirt making and corset making.  Claire also runs an online knitting wool business. Claire has been teaching at The Textile Space since it opened in 2010.