BITA Soft Furnishings Masterclasses 2017

BITA Soft Furnishings Masterclasses
Birmingham, Sunday 9th July 2017 and London, Tuesday 11th July 2017
The British Interiors and Textiles Association (BITA) have organised some exciting Soft Furnishings Masterclasses with a handful of excellent, qualified and experienced speakers including, Victoria Hammond, Jane Warren, Sallyann Rolfe, Elizabeth Pegg, Mandy Hayes and Sharon Samuel.

Aiming to advise, present and teach anyone interested in soft furnishings many skills from ‘Measuring and calculations’ to ‘Cutting loose covers’ from experienced individuals within the industry.

Birmingham Sunday 9th July
With many years of experience of bespoke curtains and soft furnishings Sharon Samuel (Owner of the Sewing Lounge) will be demonstrating her skills in two different classes. Her first class will be ‘Triple Pleat interlined curtain making’ she will explain and demonstrate the techniques used including hand sewn. Her afternoon class ‘Roman blind making’ will include how to make a fully operational hand sewn roman blind, calculation and much more.

Elizabeth Pegg (Owner of Silkworm and Cottontails) and Mandy Hayes (Owner of Francis House Design) will be teaming up to cover more skills. They both worked very hard to get where they are today and now both have their own business, Elizabeth has a lampshade business and Mandy has a cushion covers business, they will be doing one morning class focusing on ‘Lampshade making’ including trimmings and how to attach them. In the afternoon they will be focusing on ‘Cushion making’ where they will explain the different styles you can produce and other techniques.
London Tuesday 11th July
Jane Warren (Owner of The Lampshade Loft) has over 10 years’ experience within the soft furnishings industry, she will be presenting a ‘Hard drum lampshade making’ class in the morning and afternoon, both of these classes will be practical, so you will be able to make your own lampshade while Jane shows and explains how this is done, she will be showing many amazing techniques including how to position and adhere your fabric to your shade laminate accurately and smoothly.
With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, Victoria Hammond (Owner and Director of Victoria Hammond interiors) Will be presenting two very important classes ‘An introduction to interior design’ which will include how to interpret a client’s brief, how to advise clients and present style mood board and much more she will also be teaching about ‘Measuring and Calculations’ this 3 hour class is very thorough taking you through step by step.
With over 30 years’ experience and over 20 of those running her own business Sallyann Rolfe (Owner of House of Robinson) is passionate about her class ‘Cutting loose covers workshop’ She will explain and demonstrate how to understand pattern placement and many more helpful tips and techniques.
You can join a class for as little as £45, bookings are coming in thick and fast so don’t miss out – contact Cherish King at or by phone on 01908 410598 ext. 5 ASAP to book or find out more.

BITA 2017 Spring Showcase

BITA 2017 ShowcaseThe British Interiors & Textiles Association (BITA) hosted the Exclusive Spring Showcase Exhibition at Chelsea Harbour Hotel on 12-13 March. Showcasing some of the finest UK & International Interiors and Textiles brands, the event brought together Designers, Retailers, Manufacturers and Makers alike.

With spring in the air, the main show featured exclusive previews of the latest collections from an array of wholesale suppliers & design studios including: Bill Beaumont Textiles, Clarke & Clarke, iLiv, Fibre Naturelle, Warwick Fabrics and many more…

The show also debuted unique collections from Jacqueline Milton, Lorna Syson, McKenzie & May, Mestral Home, PF Collections, Soie De Lune and Studio Kelkka. With the new spring/summer season in mind, the collections presented vivid colours and innovative designs which depicted inspirations taken from nature, interior trends and innovative fabric techniques and styles.

“Our first time at the BITA Showcase, the show was a really enjoyable experience in a prestigious location filled with fantastic visitors, delicious canapés and cream tea! For me it was great opportunity to present my fabrics in front of interior designers and curtain makers from across the UK. We launched our fabric by the meter and we were really pleased with the positive reactions to the fabrics – the Juneberry and Bird design was especially well received.” Lorna Syson

Over the two days, the show also presented insightful Soft Furnishing Masterclasses – hosted by the brilliant Victoria Hammond, educating visitors on how to effectively measure and calculate curtains and roman blinds. Exhibitor prompt presentations were also hosted by Lorna Syson and Daniel Beaumont from (Bill Beaumont Textiles) and the Textile Designer Professional Masterclasses were hosted by Diane Harding, BITA Marketing Director and Designers Mary Jones & Chris Hodgson.

“The professional workshop was an extremely helpful and insightful session, to help advise on what I need to do to achieve my dream job in the Textiles industry. The session was incredibly valuable as it opened my eyes to what I need to develop in my portfolio – and who better to advise me than the experts themselves!” Megan Stolley, Student.

BITA is pleased to support the event and looking forward to future showcases in 2018!

“Bita was delighted to celebrate its 10th Year of Showcases at the Chelsea Harbour Hotel – exhibitors and visitors had a great time and there was a terrific buzz around the show throughout the day!” Diane Harding, Marketing Director, BITA.

Success at Textile Designer Career Masterclass at Bolton University

The British Interiors and Textiles Association (BITA) presenters, Diane Harding and Chris Hodgson deliver an inspiring educational masterclass to Textiles and Surface Design students from Bolton University School of The Arts.


Aiming to advise the next generation of textile designers on how to stand out from the crowd in the Textile Design Industry; the event on Friday 2nd December, offered invaluable advice on the importance of work experience, what makes a great portfolios & CV’s and how to prepare for career interviews.


With over 30 years’ experience in the industry, Diane Harding (Marketing Director of BITA and Managing Director of Norfolk House Consultants) gave insight into her career highlights including how she built her own business, winning several awards on the way, including COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE’S – ‘ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR’ in 1994.


“Educating new designers on the process needed to get the job of their dreams, is something I feel very passionately about. In the same position myself all those years ago, I really wanted to impart my industry knowledge and experience gained onto the next generation of skilled and ambitious designers.”  Diane Harding


Joined by Chris Hodgson (Director Hodgson Design and Colour Ltd), Chris also gave an honest insight into what it takes to become an international designer and colourist and how to build your reputation for working with high profile furnishing and design companies, including Prestigious Textiles.


“I was delighted to share my experiences as a Design & Colour Consultant with such an enthusiastic and knowledgeable group of students and tutors. The mock interview scenario must have been a super insight into the cold reality of the search for that career in the design industry – something I hope has helped students prepare for the next step in their career journey.” Chris Hodgson

Co-organised by Donna Claypool (Programme Leader, Textiles and Surface Design at Bolton School of Arts) the event allowed students to gain feedback on their current trend mood boards and portfolios – many of which were of a very high standard.


‘The event was a huge success, and enabled students to hear about important aspects of the design industry from key speakers with experience. The live interview element also broke down the ‘mystery’ of what happens at an interview and how students can best prepare their portfolios and understand what types of questions are asked. We shall certainly be inviting BITA to another session in the near future.’ Donna Claypool


The event was received well by students with comments such as:


‘The event definitely put things into context for me.’


‘A fantastic session – especially the interview!!’


‘The session was really amazing and so informative. I’ve learned so much and feel more inspired – it was great’

Chris Hodgson equally enjoyed the day:


“I was impressed with the facilities available for the students and felt that I was amongst students that spoke the same “textile” language as myself. Being amongst an ambitious bunch of creatives for the day, all in all I had a brilliant day!” Chris Hodgson


With Bolton University being the first of a series of Textile Designers Masterclasses, BITA continues to organise bespoke educational events with other UK Universities and Colleges in 2017.

For further information please contact: Tel: 01908 410598

Book your place at our BITA Interior Masterclasses this October!





This October BITA are hosting Interior Masterclass Days in London, Leeds and Birmingham for you to learn more about an array of industry specific skills.

Masterclass Day sessions include a lampshade tutorial, a cutting and pinning loose covers demonstration and either a roman blind or curtain presentation. You do not need any prior experience to attend these masterclasses, just the enthusiasm to learn new and exciting skills!

Introducing your Masterclass Presenters:

Sallyann Rolfe – Cutting Loose Covers Masterclass


Sallyann will demonstrate the intricateness of loose covers by covering pattern placement, tuck aways and easing fullness. Sallyann will pin directly onto a piece of furniture to create a neatly tailored loose cover. You’ll learn how to cut and pin loose covers and also learn about fabric pattern placement.

Sharon Samuel – Lampshade Masterclass and Roman Blind

sharon samuel
Sharon is a soft furnishing designer who designs curtains, blinds, cushions, lampshades and many more. Her lampshade masterclass covers an introduction to lampshade crafting, including: how to prepare a frame for the shade, how to attach fabric and adding trim to the finished shade. Sharon is also teaching a Roman Blind masterclass using the new technique of taping rather than sewing. This new method known as ‘wonder webbing’ joins fabric without a stitch when hemming, patching or trimming. Ideal for blind maker beginners and for saving valuable time.

Victoria Hammond – Curtain Masterclass 

Victoria Hammond image

Victoria is the owner and Director of Victoria Hammond Interiors. She has 20 years professional experience as a curtain making, soft furnishing and interior design specialist. She will be demonstrating how to make curtains, lined and interlined with machined and hand sewn headings.

Jane Warren – Lampshade Tutorial 


Join Jane Warren from The Lampshade Loft in a demonstration of how to make a drum bespoke lampshade, with tips and tuition on how to finish to a high professional level. You will also be shown how traditional hand sewn lampshades are made – a much longer process (everything is hand sewn) but a high-end offering to customers and a sought-after skill.




VENUE: Hotel in the City of London, details confirmed upon booking 

ALL DAY EVENT – £120  PER PERSON with a 10% discount for BITA members.
INDIVIDUAL MASTERCLASS SESSION – £60 with a 10% discount for BITA members.

Sallyann Rolfe (2hr Cutting & Pinning Loose Covers Masterclass)
Victoria Hammond (1.5hr Curtain Masterclass)
Jane Warren (2hr Lampshade Masterclass)

9.30 – 10.30 Sallyann Rolfe (Cutting & Pinning Loose Covers Masterclass Part 1)
10.30 – 10.45 Coffee Break
10.45 – 11.45 Sallyann Rolfe (Cutting & Pinning Loose Covers Masterclass Part 2)
11.45 – 12.45 Lunch
12.45 – 2.15 Victoria Hammond (Blinds/Curtains Masterclass)
2.15 – 2.30 Break
2.30 – 4.30 Jane Warren (Lampshades Masterclass)



VENUE: Hotel in the City of Leeds, details confirmed upon booking

ALL DAY EVENT – £110 PER PERSON with a 10% discount for BITA members.
INDIVIDUAL MASTERCLASS – £49 with a 10% discount for BITA members.

Sharon Samuel (2 hr Lampshade Masterclass)
Sharon Samuel (1.5hr Roman Blind Masterclass)
Sallyann Rolfe (2 hr Cutting & Pinning Loose Covers Masterclass)

9.30 – 10.30 Sharon Samuel (Lampshade Masterclass Part 1)
10.30 – 10.45 Coffee Break
10.45 – 11.45 Sharon Samuel (Lampshade Masterclass Part 2)
11.45 – 12.45 Lunch
12.45 – 2.15 Sharon Samuel (Roman Blind Masterclass)
2.15 – 2.30 Break
2.30 – 4.30 Sallyann Rolfe (Cutting & Pinning Loose Covers Masterclass)



VENUE: Hotel in the City of Birmingham, details confirmed upon booking

ALL DAY EVENT – £99 PER PERSON with a 10% discount for BITA members.
INDIVIDUAL MASTERCLASS – £49 with a 10% discount for BITA members.

Sallyann Rolfe (2 hr Cutting & Pinning Loose Covers Masterclass)
Sharon Samuel (1.5hr Roman Blind Masterclass)
Sharon Samuel (2 hr Lampshade Masterclass)

9.30 – 10.30 Sallyann Rolfe (Cutting & Pinning Loose Covers Masterclass Part 1)
10.30 – 10.45 Coffee Break
10.45 – 11.45 Sallyann Rolfe (Cutting & Pinning Loose Covers Masterclass Part 2)
11.45 – 12.45 Lunch
12.45 – 2.15 Sharon Samuel (Roman Blind Masterclass)
2.15 – 2.30 Break
2.30 – 4.30 Sharon Samuel (Lampshade Masterclass)


Masterclass all-day bookings include a complimentary lunch, this is not applicable to single session bookings. All sessions include refreshments. 


Email or alternatively please call 01908 410598 (option 5) to book your place, or for further information.

If you are interested in one of these Masterclass Days but are unable to attend our October dates, please email us which month would be most convenient to join us as we hope to plan future Masterclass Days.