Tapestry weaving for beginners with Caron Penney

Ref: S2D32964

Location: West Dean
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Places available

About this course

Learn woven tapestry techniques for shaping, shading and weaving diagonals while you gain experience and understanding to make a sample panel.

Course Description

If you have admired woven tapestry and have always wanted to give it a try, this structured course will enable you to gain confidence with the medium.

The course will start with a demonstration of the warping-up process. Once this has been achieved, you will begin weaving a technical sample, which is designed to help at various stages of your development as a weaver. Some of the techniques covered are plain weaving, stepped/soft diagonals, hatching, dovetailing, blending, shaping and more. You should expect to complete a finished woven sample over the two days. The essence of the course is to ensure that you can transfer your new skills gained over the course to produce woven tapestry which is individual to you. Throughout the two-day workshop, reference material will be available, furthering your understanding of the medium and increasing the depth of your knowledge. It is suitable for absolute beginners and weavers with only a little experience in woven tapestry.

Course Materials


  • A selection of warp and weft yarns is provided by the tutor for use during the course.

What students need to bring

  • Measuring tape
  • Pen/document folder for hand-outs
  • Kitchen fork for weaving
  • One or two bobbins

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Wooden tapestry frame**
  • Scissors
  • ** This can be borrowed during the course, but if you wish to take it home, it will cost around £16.
  • You can also purchase additional warp and weft yarn from Weaversbazaar who usually visit with their pop-up shop, usually on the first morning of the workshop.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

General Information


Caron Penney

Caron Penney is a master tapestry weaver and director of Atelier Weftfaced. She studied Constructed Textiles at Middlesex University and has a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. She has taught tapestry for many years, and worked at the renowned West Dean Tapestry Studio from 1993-2013, and was studio director from 2009-2013. She worked on many commissions while at the Studio, including the 'Hunt of the Unicorn' series and the Tracey Emin tapestries. An experienced teacher, she is also co-author of 'Tapestry - a woven narrative' (2012).


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.