Kate Beale

I am a textile artist with a particular interest in the fascinating and varied practice of shibori resist dyeing. Shibori involves myriad techniques used to fold and tightly compress fabric in order to create areas which will not allow dye to enter. These techniques are used to dictate the movement of the dye, thereby creating pattern.

Shibori is highly technical, but also somewhat unpredictable, and it is this fickle nature that absorbs me. It was whilst experimenting with one shibori technique that uses lines of evenly-spaced straight stitch on silk organza, pulled up tightly, and placed in hot dye, that I found that the silk could be manipulated into 3 dimensional forms. Once the stitches were removed, the silk organza took on shape and movement, as if it were a completely different material, beautiful, delicate and intriguing.

My most recent work has focussed on developing these shibori 3D forms. Within this process of fabric manipulation, I allow my intuitive passion for bright colour to play a part in creating creature-like shapes from the organza. The vivid palette of the layered dye lends itself to the energetic character of the form. The process of folding, stitching, tightly binding, then dyeing and finally unpicking and unfolding is time-consuming, but methodical and meditative.  For me, this is as important as the outcome.

  • Kate Beale


Worn, textiles2020, Espacio Gallery, London, October 2023
Fishy Tales (a collaborative project), Festival of Quilts, NEC Birmingham, August 2023
Stories in Stich, textiles2020. Espacio Gallery, London, April 2022
textiles2020: the show, Espacio Gallery, London, December 2020
In Transition, Group Show, City Lit, Feb-March 2020
Construction Sites, Group Show, City Lit, July 2019

Follow me on Instagram @kate_beale_/