About Big Cat Textiles and Hat in the Cat

Alison Mountain and Jeanette Sendler

Alison Mountain and Jeanette Sendler of Big Cat Textiles

Big Cat Textiles in Newburgh, Fife is the younger (but bigger!) sibling of Hat in the Cat , the studio/shop for quality contemporary handcrafted hats and textiles in Bridgend, Perth. Whilst Hat in the Cat is the main showcase for hand-made textiles and hats by Jeanette Sendler and Alison Mountain, activity at the Big Cat Studio in Newburgh focuses on teaching and making in the renovated, bespoke studios.

Big Cat Textile Headquarters

The whinstone building with its elegant arched windows is part of Newburgh’s rich cultural history.  Originally the Burgher Chapel, it has since then had several incarnations, notably as a Second World War drill hall for Polish troops, a potato merchant’s store and an upholstery workshop. By the spring of 2011, the building had been sensitively upgraded into a series of bright, open spaces.  Master classes, delivered by the world’s best artists and designers, will now take place throughout the year either in the Hat in the Cat Studio in Perth or Big Cat Textiles. See About Our Classes for details.

The town of Newburgh provides an inspiring and dramatic location for the Big Cat Textile studio, nestling between steep craggy hills and the Tay estuary with its extensive reed beds, and benefitting from the east of Scotland’s wide open skies and generous hours of sunshine.

Big Cat Textiles’ first Artist in Residence was Australian ‘bio-regional gatherer and maker of marks’ India Flint. After delivering two inspiring masterclasses in August 2013, she stayed on in Newburgh to make her own work. A short film, written and narrated by India follows her progress and reveals the local environment in a very special light. To see the film click or tap here. India has returned each year since then and is back in 2017  with more of her special wisdom and insight.

Classes in hat making and a wide range of textile techniques are ongoing. We are currently taking bookings for next year’s exciting range of summerschools in tailoring, feltmaking, millinery, drawing and painting and dyeing, led by some of the most accomplished practitioners in their field. Details are on the website’s Masterclass page.

Bespoke events for a wide range of groups; from Continual Professional Development for teachers to couture headpiece workshops for hen parties can also be arranged. Just call in, telephone or email us.

Teaching away

As well as facilitating and delivering classes in Newburgh and Perth, Jeanette and Alison regularly run classes in other venues.

  • In December 2014, Jeanette delivered Turban Making in Königswinter, Germany.
  • In May 2015 they returned to Wollknoll, Germany again to teach Graphic Knit Felt. This time  they also led Sinamay Hats and Hair-dos alongside a professional hair stylist.
  • Also in May 2015, CPD for teachers at Dundee Contemporary Art working with buckram shapes.
  • In June 2015, Felt Hats at Feltmakers North in Northern Ireland.