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Life At Chelsea: Eleanor Tull – MA Textile Design 

Connie Lim’s design © Bulgari
Connie Lim’s design © Bulgari
Bulgari - photography by Mauro Fabbio, Connie Lim’s design © Bulgari
Written by
Gavin Freeborn
Published date
24 September 2018

As part of our ongoing Life At Chelsea series we interviewed Eleanor Tull, who completed MA Textile Design this September. Eleanor talked to us about her practice and time at Chelsea.

“My work has developed from something purely decorative and evolved into stitch with a purpose, I have found more confidence in expressing social and political ideas through the embroidered pieces I create.

An embroidered blue patchwork jacket

“I am working on a three-piece collection of repaired garments, showing the potential of repair as a tool for making fashion more sustainable, alongside an embroidered patch kit which aims to encourage users to decorate their own clothes, engaging with craft.

“Taking my original inspiration from the power of protest within musical countercultures, I focused on the anarchist politics that often influenced them. By using the key anarchist philosophies of DIY and anti-consumption, and the culture of repair they encourage, I was inspired to develop embroidered pieces that help others to have a more sustainable approach to fashion consumption.

An orange embroidered skirt

Chelsea’s workshops basically became my second home! I was in the stitch workshop for a few weeks solidly to create my final pieces, the range of industrial machines in the stitch workshop have been really exciting to use and play with and have really helped to develop my practice. It’s been great working with other creative people around.

“I’ve set up a monthly repair workshop at a local community craft hub in Bethnal Green called The Create Place, it links with my project here, but will carry on after my MA finishes, and hopefully keep growing too.

A detail of the orange embroidered skirt

“I did my BA in Cornwall and the biggest difference has to be having so many amazing galleries and exhibitions on your doorstep, when I’m in a creative rut in the studio, the best thing to do is just escape to a gallery and get some inspiration.

“One of my influences has been Hope in the Dark, a small book by Rebecca Solnit whose whole philosophy really helped when thinking about making fashion more sustainable and which at times seemed totally impossible.

“I’d like to continue the repair workshops I’ve started during this course, and hopefully work within a sustainable fashion brand.

“If you decide to study MA Textile Design, I suggest you come with a clear project in mind, it will change but you need to start working on an idea straight away. Get to know your classmates, they’ll keep you going when you’re doubting yourself.

A pair of blue embroidered jeans

“I was working in industry before I started the course, and was lucky enough to carry on my part-time at my job in production in an interior textile design studio, Helen Amy Murray. They’re an amazing team, and Helen went to Chelsea also so that is very inspiring. It’s really helped me have confidence in my ideas and develop a strong attention to detail.

See more of Eleanor’s work on her website and Instagram

Find out more about the MA Textile Design

See more student work on

A detail of an embroidered figure on blue jeans