Press Release: Try tapestry weaving from home

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation launch new online Tapestry course

World renowned for its commercial Tapestry Studio and for the quality of its Short Courses, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation has launched an online course Tapestry Weaving – Learn the Basics with Philip Sanderson, West Dean Tapestry Studio Leader and Tutor. This in-depth online course comes with all the materials you need to get started with tapestry weaving. Working at your own pace, you will learn how to put a warp on a simple weaving frame, use weft yarn to start weaving, blend colours and create simple shapes in your unique tapestry. 

The launch offer price for the course is £120, and includes a posted craft box (currently only available to mainland UK), featuring a tapestry frame (handmade onsite at the College), a bobbin, warp yarn and coloured wool to help students start weaving with ease. You have access to approximately two hours video content, and twelve weeks online access. To see an introductory film, please visit the website

The tapestry course is the latest in a series of new online courses at the College. Alison Baxter, Head of the School of Art at West Dean College, explains: “During lockdown and while travel has been restricted, we have seen that there is a significant desire to learn or develop creative skills at home, so we are very pleased to share these new online courses taught by our expert tutors. The newly resurgent craft of tapestry weaving has a long history with West Dean College. With minimal equipment and by following the step-by-step videos that Philip gives, you will learn the basics to give you confidence to explore this historic technique further.”

In addition to the Tapestry course, the College has also released several other online courses that are available at any time and are suitable for all abilities. These are led by expert tutors in a variety of disciplines and start from £38 - including some with optional craft boxes.

Get started with making books with Tracey Bush
Relief printing at home with Mary Dalton
Get started with watercolour painting with Christine Forbes (For Beginners)
Start drawing with John T Freeman (For Beginners)

Feedback so far on these courses, include several comments from students who have done Start drawing with John T Freeman. Sue commented: "The clarity of instruction and engaging tutor was able to provide a really meaningful workshop, that has inspired me with home practice. The online instructions and website was easy to use and allowed for good navigation” and from Carol, she said: "I loved that I could go at my own pace and revisit the separate workshops in any order whenever I needed."

For full details, please visit

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Notes to Editors:

  • West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is an educational charity whose mission is to provide the highest quality education in arts and conservation. Alongside the academic provision, the College supports an annual programme of residencies designed to provide research and development opportunities to artists and writers whilst enhancing the learning environment of the College.
  • The Tapestry Studio at West Dean is the one of the very few professional studios in the UK. It has been working with contemporary artists and designers to translate their images into woven tapestry since 1976. Since weaving 23 tapestries for The Henry Moore Foundation, 1976 - 1987, the Studio has worked with artists John Piper, Howard Hodgkin, Eileen Agar, Matty Grunberg, Philip Sutton, Bill Jacklin and Adrian Berg. More recent projects include The Fallowfield and Rings of Saturn with Eva Rothschild, five tapestries with Tracey Emin and work with Martin Creed on, Work No.1683 for What's the point of it? at the Hayward Gallery. As well as artists, the Tapestry Studio has produced work for clients including the Houses of Parliament, The Mercers Company, The White Cube Gallery and Great Ormond Street Hospital. It has extensive experience of heritage tapestry projects, including The Hunt of the Unicorn, a series of seven tapestries based on 15th century originals commissioned by Historic Scotland. It was the biggest weaving project undertaken in the UK for 100 years, involved 18 international weavers and took 13 years to complete in 2015.
  • Tapestry Studio Leader and Tutor, Philip Sanderson studied both at Middlesex University and the Royal College of Art before joining the Professional Tapestry Studio at West Dean College in 1993. Tapestry Courses range from a two-year Foundation Diploma or a one-year Graduate Diploma in Tapestry Weaving through to short courses.
  • West Dean College of Arts and Conservation was founded in 1971 by the poet and Surrealist patron, Edward James, recognised by BBC Arts as the ‘the greatest patron of art of the early 20th century’.
  • The College is part of The Edward James Foundation (Charity No. 1126084), also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and West Dean Tapestry Studio.
  • All photography is free to use for editorial purposes.
  • West Dean College is situated on the A286, six miles north of Chichester and within easy access of Portsmouth, Guildford, Brighton and London.

    For all media enquiries please contact Rachel Aked:
    Email: [email protected]
    Telephone: 07790 732448

    West Dean College of Arts and Conservation, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ