Collect 2024


Katie Charleson


Edinburgh (city)


Textiles / Fibre



Katie Charleson is a screen-printed textile designer and quilter based in Edinburgh. Her practice emphasises the use of organic natural fibres, environmentally responsible materials, natural dyes, and handmade pigments.  

Katie dyes, paints and screenprints all her work by hand with scale becoming an important development in her practice. During the pandemic, Katie began introducing stitching and quilting to her practice. By combining the processes of printmaking and quilting she makes two-dimensional work feel sculptural, adding depth, movement and tactility. 

Katie holds a BA in Textiles from The Glasgow School of Art. She has exhibited in the UK including her first solo show at Sierra Metro (Edinburgh) and regularly works on commissions for private clients.  

In conversation

1. Tell us about your practice and what led you down your chosen path as a maker.

Textiles have always been an important part of creativity for me, though it was when I was introduced to screen printing at art school that I knew I had found my calling. During the pandemic and resulting lack of print studio access, I introduced stitching and quilting to my practice: turning my screen-printed textiles into quilts and interior objects. I use the blocky, repetitive nature of screen printing paradoxically; to create depth and fluidity, exploring materiality and surface.

2. Tell us about your materials.

As a textile worker whose practice blurs the line between fine art and design, I am interested in the intersection of functionality and painterliness. I consider my printed quilts to be soft sculptures and though they exist as 3D objects they are also intended to be handled and lived with. For my newest piece for Collect, I have chosen to push the 3D element of the work and introduced wool batting. This adds a good deal of lift and an element of softness to the wall piece, inviting touch and drawing the viewer in.

3. Can you share more about the process behind your Collect 2024 collection?

For this body of work, I brewed inks and dyes from food waste and locally foraged plant matter. I hand-paint the dyes directly onto the base fabric and on top of the printed pigments, adding a depth of colour and fluidity to the structures and shapes present in the work. Physically breaking down and combining materials to create colour feels alchemical, and adds a layer of uncertainty and uniqueness every time the process is approached.

4. What inspired your collection for Collect 2024?

I make my work in Leith, Edinburgh, which has a crest. It represents a ship and waves, and the motto is Persevere. Life events have meant that themes of resilience and perseverance have been present in my work lately. The newest piece that I am presenting at Collect is a continuation of a series of gestural, painterly quilts that explore the tension between solid shapes; watery colour and negative space. I have introduced my own symbolic take on the repetitive element of the traditional Japanese sashiko pattern Seigaiha: blue sea and waves, to represent perseverance.

5. Tell us about your approach to sustainable making in this work.

I exclusively use natural fibres; specifically organic cotton and linen from ethical and socially conscious sources. I also embrace upcycling, patch working with remnants and samples to reduce textile waste. In my printmaking, I only use water-based eco inks and binders. I do choose to use some cold-water synthetic dyes, as these require less water and energy. Increasingly, I employ natural dyes and pigments brewed myself from food waste and locally foraged plant materials. I am always working on expanding my library of skills and experience with natural dyestuffs.

6. What do you hope the viewer will take away from this work?

My intention is for my hand-painted, hand-stitched works to draw the viewer in and create areas of interest and contemplation, and the theme of perseverance and resilience will speak to the audience. I hope that the physicality of making the pieces shines through. I intend for the audience to be soothed and enveloped by the tactility of the pieces.


Photography by the artist

Katie Charleson

sail on silver girl

Wall hanging. Linen, cotton, Shetland wool, silver birch, synthetic dye, av..

113 x 212cm


Photography by Usama Diaz Jassar

Katie Charleson

The Space Between

Wall hanging. Linen, sateen, avocado dye and cotton.

182 x 144cm


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