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Janet Haigh

Janet Haigh has been described as one of Europe’s foremost embroiderers combining simple hand worked embroidery with cross-craft techniques. Her stitching is truly experimental and crosses many boundaries both in terms of ideas and materials. She is the author of eight books covering patchwork, cross-stitch and all forms of embroidery and she is a senior Research Fellow at UWE School of Creative Arts in Bristol.

I am a freelance designer-maker, applied artist, crafts-woman, whatever you want to call me – I stitch stuff by hand. Fabric, metal, porcelain and paper

Janet Haigh

In 1981 Janet was awarded the Royal School of Arts Travel Scholarship to Japan, out of which came her book ‘Japanese Inspirations’ and in 2001 she was the winner of the National Garden Embroidery Prize, sponsored by the National Trust. Recently the Arts Council funded ‘The Enamelled Garden’ a fascinating series of sculptures using a variety of techniques including stencilling and sgraffito, to create weather resistant garden pieces on enamelled laser cut steel. Like so many of our designers Janet’s output is not restricted to needlework.

An interview with Janet Haigh filmed at her house in England

Writing about Janet Haigh’s work Howard Jacobson says “That needlework can have its ironies we already know well enough. You can come close to winning a Turner prize by embroidering the horrors of your bedroom. Whereas in Janet Haigh’s case, the art is as much in the doing as in the undermining. This means you never feel Janet Haigh has cheated you of aesthetic. She is an extremely sensual artist, loving colour and texture, thriving on excess and the idea of excess at a time of emotional frugality in the visual world. She embodies, too, as the best artists always do, the history of her medium, putting you in touch with all the traditions that have fed her.”


Janet writes a brilliant blog with lengthy updates on all her projects and some wonderful pictures. Take a look on and see what she is up to. Recently she has been doing some stunning appliquéd quilts with Kaffe Fassett, embroidering and designing the cover for Howard Jacobson’s book ‘Live a Little’, curating the work of Lillian Delavorayas and running her drawing classes at the Royal West of England Academy. A multi talented designer.

Designed by Janet Haigh

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