Freelance Multidisciplinary designer-maker

 Sarah-Jane Embroidery has colour and craft at the root of every brief.  With a strong focus on innovative surfaces  that evoke physical interaction, particularly at a time where the term 'interaction' is heavily used in a digital context. Finally, Sarah-Jane embroidery believes in design for change with a particular focus on the epidemic of poor emotional health and well-being of children and young people, creating a dialogue of the significance of interaction and positive relationships



 I create with colour, with a hands on approach and I think outside the box.

Hello, I am Sarah-Jane and I have two beautiful children (6 + 16yo). I have been drawing and making for a very long time and in 2014, we returned from Australia where we had lived for 6 years. In 2015 I decided it was the perfect time to return to my studies. In July of 2019, I graduated with a Batchelor of Arts (Honours) in Textile Design, specializing in Embroidery with a First Class. 

There are two elements to Sarah-Jane embroidery. First is my love creativity! With a significant passion for craft, design and innovation. I work with a very hands-on approach, exploring colour, pattern and texture. With a particular focus on the handle and tactfulness of a surface. This could be in response to industry-led briefs or personal conceptualised briefs.

Second is my vast interest in the current ‘epidemic’ of poor emotional health and well-being of children and young people. Research proves that trauma and adversity experienced during the early years of childhood have implications on the developing brain and this impacts seriously on emotional health and wellbeing. And more surprisingly physical health! Theses experiences have a negative impact on the ability to form and sustain relationships throughout childhood and into adulthood. As a result this makes doing society ‘properly’ almost impossible. And when young people are seen to act in ‘problematic ways’ society responds by 'teaching them lessons' and ostracising them. This becomes even more problematic for the individual and subsequently society. Many young people miss out on the opportunity to have a safe place, where positive relationships can be built and sustained. With more community/youth services being constrained, many young people get forgotten about and become ostracised from their community. This often resulting in them participating in criminal activity. Ultimately depleting their self-worth!  While the ACE movement sweeps the nation, my practice sets out to create a dialogue of the significant impact, positive relationships can have on young people’s well-being. Consequently offering environments, where their sense of self-worth is improved. More importantly, this provides a platform where a young person can imagine a successful, healthier and happier future self.

Scroll down to learn more about the graduate collection A.C.E that was exhibited at New Designers, London 2019.


Application of colour . Couching . Engagement

The American Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) study, demonstrated that when adversity and trauma are experienced during early years of childhood, there are implications on the developing brain which affect our emotional health and more surprisingly, Physical health throughout childhood and into adulthood.
While the ACE movement sweeps Scotland,  this collection asks that we stop asking ‘why are you bad?’ and instead ask “what happened to you?’ The connection and relationship between myself the maker and the collection was of great significance, whilst mixing a technological process of laser cutting and pushing traditional hand embroidered techniques, such as  applique, couching and wrapping. She takes her colourful palette from childhood play and Buddhist artefacts. While the graphic repeats are controlled depictions of the unpredictable shapes from biological representations of the human body. A.C.E consists of questionable surfaces that translate into playful yet sophisticated textiles  for interior, furnishings and instillations. The collection evokes curiosity and the need to interact physically. If you stop and take time to understand what is going on in each piece, by taking a closer look beyond the surface, maybe then a deeper understanding can be had. Perhaps society could do the same when young people are ‘problematic’ and help create environments where positive, sustainable relationships can flourish. Providing a platform where the ‘problematic’ young person can visualise a positive self.


The Creative Child is the Adult Who Survives: The importance of relationships



Dissertation by Sarah-Jane Henderson


if you are interested in getting to know more about my practice, collaborating or commission based work please get in touch, Sarah-Jane Embroidery would love to hear from you.

Edinburgh Based


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