All material copyright of Cathy Needham

Cathy Needham Textile Artist

About Me

After a degree in geology, I had a career at the Science Museum as a curator, exhibit developer and education interpreter. In more recent years I taught and performed Egyptian dance. A year living in Peru, seeing the vibrant weaving, tapestry and embroidery there, rekindled my love of textiles and I decided to pursue this through further study. I completed the City & Guilds Creative Embroidery Certificate & Diploma in Design and Craft in 2012.

I exhibit both independently and with the well established Yorkshire based textile group Diverse Threads, from 2012-2020 and from 2014- 2017 the Textile group Decora. Since 2019 I am a member of York Textile Artist group.  

I have taken part in the 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2019 York Open Studios and exhibited in a solo show at Fringe@Studio 108 in Muswell Hill, London in 2014. I have created a number of commissions for private collectors and have experience running workshops, demonstrations and talks.

My work

My style varies, from abstract to more representational depending on the source topic and ‘feel’ I want to evoke, but it is always characterised by a strong use of colour and texture. I work using a variety of techniques including felt-making, hand dyeing and appliqué combined with hand embroidery and embellishment. I love experimenting with wool, fabrics, fibres and non textile objects like pebbles and semi-precious stones. I create framed and unframed 2D pieces and more sculptural 3D pieces in a range of sizes. My aim is to capture colours, shapes and textures to evoke the feel of an place or object, so I chose the textile medium to suit the project, exploring the inherent properties of the materials. Though I have a clear idea of the end in mind and plan a project carefully, I tend to work intuitively often adapting a piece as it progresses, thus keeping a freshness and vibrancy in my work.  Ideally I try to create different levels of interest in a piece, bold and eye catching from afar,with more details revealed on closer inspection.

I keep returning to themes from the natural world such as landscapes, leaves, bark, the sea, water or beaches. But equally sometimes inspiration starts with a beautiful fabric or interesting yarn.




City and Guilds Creative Embroidery  Certificate in Design and Craft 2010

City and Guilds Creative Embroidery  Diploma in Design and Craft  2012


City and Guilds Show Ripley Town hall    June 2010

City and Guilds Show Spofforth Village Hall    June 2011

Way gallery, York, July 2012

Back of the Shop, Terrington, March-May 2013

York Open studios, April 2014

Mermaid and Miller, York, May 2014

Blossom Street Gallery, York, July-August 2014 & December 2014- January 2015

Fringe@Studio108, Muswell Hill, London, September-November 2014

York Open studios, April 2015

Fringe@Studio108, Muswell Hill, London, October 2015

York Open Studios, April 2016

Blossom Street Gallery, York, February to March 2017

Kunsthuis Gallery, Crayke, March-December 2018

Platform Gallery, Clitheroe, March-June 2018

Inspire Christmas show, Cemetery Chapel York, November 2018

Nunnington Hall, Christmas show, November-December 2018

Ferens Gallery, Open Exhibition, February- April 2019

York Open Studios, April 2019

Kunsthuis Gallery, Crayke, March 2019-Feb 2020

As member of Diverse Threads

Gallery in the Wolds, Bainton , September 2010

Gallery 49, Bridlington, April 2011

Beverley Art Gallery, April to May 2012

York Theatre Royal, June to July 2013

The Station, Richmond, North Yorkshire, June to July 2014

York Hospital, January to April 2015

Knaresborough Feva festival (as part of Decora Textile group) August 2015

York Minster, September 2015

Bexley Wing, Leeds Hospital, March to July 2016

Helmsley Arts Centre, Helmsley, January-February 2018

Inspired By Gallery, The Moors Centre, Danby, August-September 2018

Tithe Barn, York, May 2019

As a member of York Textile Artists

Art in the Mill, Knaresborough, June-July 2019

Marriott Hotel, York, September - November 2019

Cemetery Chapel, York, Annual show, November 2019

Annual Show, online, November 2020

As member of Decora Textile group

FEVA festival, St Gracious Church, August 2015

FEVA festival, St Gracious Church, August 2016

FEVA festival, St Gracious Church, August 2017