Back Stitch with Steph Davidson


Freelance textiles Artist Steph Davidson has been working with RIG Arts for the past 12 weeks to deliver textiles workshops inspired by Broomhill’s heritage. With the Merino Mill being situated just up the hill from the Art Flat, employing 1000s of women (and some men!) from the area, we thought it was about time we revisited some practical textiles skills, new and old.

The workshops were spilt into mini individual projects exploring practical textiles skills, concentrating on the process of skill with a strong focus on surface design. The theme throughout these workshops was to look at old and new photographs of Greenock looking at the Merino Mill, Ship Building, Cranes, Architecture and Nature.

Lino Printing Workshop

The first workshop was all about going back to the basics of printing and using the lino printing technique. We used this technique to build patterns to form repeat and placement designs. While playing about with different colours the participants created printed cards and totes bags using the lino block they had designed and carved, along with hand painted details.

Rug Making Workshop

The rug-making workshop was inspired by the Merino Mill, officially called Fleming, Reid & Co. where they supplied wool and canvases to make rugs and mats in their Scotch Wool and Hosiery Stores. The participants learnt the latch hook process to create their rugs using various different types and thicknesses of wool.

Screen Printing and Appliqué Workshop.

Using the screen-filler technique, the participants drew designs and then transferred them on to their screen ready to screen print on to fabrics and a tote bag. While we waited for our screens to dry the participants used the appliqué technique to create another layer to their designs. Cutting out simple shapes and letters then applying these shapes to the tote bags.

The outcomes of the workshops were truly professional and individual. By looking back to old techniques and mixing in new skills, the participants were able to both explore the heritage of their local area and develop transferable skills to continue making new items for the modern day.

To see more of Steph’s work, view her Facebook page here.

Back Stitch continues every Monday from 6.15-8.15pm at the Broomhill Art Flat, 12 Broomhill Court, now with costumer and textile artists Susan McInnes. For more info, email, call 01475 649539 or find us on Facebook @RIGArtsGreenock and ‘The Broomhill Project’.




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