I am Lesley Willcock and confess to loving all textiles: I am a designer and handweaver specialising in clothing and accessories. After an early career in fashion retailing I qualified as a City & Guilds designer and couture dressmaker. I started weaving in 2004 in order to be able to explore various weave structures and create different fabrics for use in accessories and garments.

I work in a variety of yarns including cotton, linen, Tencel and wool, but I particularly love the handle and lustre of silk. A look at my Gallery page will show that I love working with colour and enjoy exploring the different effects of colour in weaving. As well as weaving scarves and wraps, I also make my handwoven fabric into individually designed garments.

I have had my work selected for exhibitions and art shows both nationally and internationally. In 2013 I won The Handweavers Guild of America Award for my entry “Setting Fire to the Rain” which had been selected for an exhibition entitled ‘Woven Together: Firestorm’ in Colorado, USA.

Setting Fire to the Rain silk scarf

Setting Fire to the Rain

In 2014 I won Best in Show and Third place for the two pieces I had selected for the Complex Weavers exhibition “Complexity” which travelled to three different galleries in the USA – photos of these are on the News page.

The inspirations for my work come from all sorts of directions; nature and plants, other textiles, industrial and architectural details or even music. My fabric designs are developed from the ‘doodle’ and sketch stage using weaving software, and are then handwoven on a computer assisted 32 shaft dobby loom.

Weaving on the loom

As a result of my couture dressmaking background I am one of those weavers who is totally happy cutting up their handwoven cloth to make garments and accessories. I also teach workshops on Sewing with Handwovens.

As well as weaving I am also a braider, both Kumihimo on a Takadai and Ply-Split Braiding. I often use the takadai braids to edge or trim garments I make from my handwoven cloth.

I am very happy to undertake individual commissions either for garments, or accessories such as scarves and wraps.