Colour, Connection & Creativity - a one-day workshop led by Joanne Yeadon

Joanne Yeadon is a woven textile designer who has worked in the UK and international textile industry for over twenty years, developing trend-led collections for fashion and home interiors.


The one-day workshop took place at Logie Steading near Forres on the 26 and 27 February 2022. Joanne introduced Bernat Klein's creative and design processes, sharing her research and development with creative practitioners from a range of backgrounds.

colour and texture inspiration

"As colour and texture inspiration, I chose the forest in autumn as a starting point."

Visiting the now empty Bernat Klein Studio in 2020, I discovered that the trees in autumn made beautiful reflections and patterns on the studio's large windows. And in preparing for the workshop at Logie Steading, a near-by walk down to the River Findhorn provided a myriad of colours on a sunlit autumn day. Together these two sources created meaningful references to Bernat Klein.

The description of nature and landscape in Bernat Klein's book ‘Eye for Colour’, was important in my understanding of his design inspiration.

colour boards and mixing

Back in my studio, I created mood boards with photographs from my walks, as well as yarns and papers that reflected the colours and textures found in my photography. To familiarise myself with this new palette, I mixed many painted colour chips, and also made a series of small abstract collages.

These allowed me to explore the colours and textures to construct yarn wraps. And in turn informed my weft colour and yarn sequences for the handloom.

autumn pinks yarn wrap

autumn pinks set

Bernat Klein believed that to be a good designer and weaver, you should be able to design individual yarns to create truly unique fabrics. For this part of the process, I shared my mood boards with Hugh Jones, a weaver formerly of Knockando Woollen Mill, who developed my yarn combinations on a twisting machine at Knockando.

examples of individually twisted yarns

With these specially twisted yarns, I experimented with weaving, which also included mohair yarn and velvet ribbon, similar to those that Bernat Klein used in his 1960s ‘Velvet Tweed’ collections.

space-dyeing hanks of yarn

Following the technique of Bernat Klein’s innovative method for space-dyeing hanks of yarn, I dip-dyed the warp with cold water dyes in the shades of the palette.

To develop my ideas, I used a warp of alternating blocks of cotton and wool, which sat in the dye bath for up to forty-eight hours to allow maximum dye effects. On rinsing the warp I discovered that the cotton had maintained more colour saturation than the wool, and so creating vertical shaded stripes in the warp.

rinsed warp

This in turn allowed me to set up my loom over four shafts, and to weave simple structures such as plain weave, twill, satin and sateen. Researching Bernat Klein’s fabrics gave me an appreciation of his simple structures, and where he really pushed the boundaries in his experimentation with colour and yarn.

early weaving ideas

In essence, I explored Bernat Klein's concept of colour play through yarn dyeing and yarn creation, using mohair and velvet to re-work these ideas and methods in the creation of my own fabrics.

mohair and velvet with brushed mohair graduation

It was such an interesting process, as I found weaving with mohair and velvet ribbon challenging on a handloom, and through this developed a great respect for Bernat and his weavers in their use of these types of yarns for commercial production.

In developing the workshop I loved having the opportunity to undertake this research, as it also brought me closer to Bernat Klein whose production mill Netherdale, became the High Mill where I studied weaving from 1995 to 1999.

"I loved the process of experimenting with different yarns and colours and for each dipped section."

This way of working has also increased my knowledge of Bernat’s space-dyed yarns. In practising this method, I followed the colour sequence of the corresponding yarn wrap to experiment with different weaves and textures.

As in Bernat's couture textiles, I enjoyed the limits of traditional woven structures, which I could expand through the use of a multitude of yarns to create my individual textiles. In following this process, it has connected me to Bernat’s legacy.

Joanne Yeadon runs her own textile design studio, curating trend forecasts for textiles, and is a home interior buyer for Johnstons of Elgin.

Joanne is passionate about finding inspiring visuals to inform her textile designs, and loves to experiment on her loom with colour, pattern, and yarn.

She also loves to help unleash creativity in others, and teaches creative weaving workshops.

If you are interested in hosting a one-day workshop led by Joanne, please contact us