Paraffle, textiles teacher



local_activity classes: Sewing and EmbroideryTextiles

5.0 (11)
Instagram followers18k

Paraffle was founded by Sammy Bishop in 2016 while she was studying for a PhD in Edinburgh. Looking for a creative outlet - and a way to give meaningful gifts that would suit her student budget - Sammy taught herself how to embroider in her spare time.

Although she picked up embroidery in her twenties, Sammy was taught to sew by her mum when she was young - and even told her parents that she was going to start a business called 'Sammy's Sewing' when she was 7 years old! At school, she followed this interest by studying a Textiles GCSE and getting one of the top 5 grades in the country - despite an awful report card!

After moving to Edinburgh to study - and struggling with the pressure of a PhD - Sammy found comfort in the calming benefits of stitching: it gave her some much-needed space to relax and take time away from everyday life.

She began designing her own embroidery patterns, playing around with colours and patterns. Shortly afterwards, Sammy decided that a career in academia was not the place for her - and instead threw her energy behind creating and growing an embroidery business.

Scouting around to name her new venture, Sammy came across 'paraffle': an old Scots word meaning 1) 'embroidery'; and 2) 'an ostentatious display' - and the name stuck.

Sammy completed her PhD in early 2020 - just in time to respond to the 'craft boom' created by the lockdown of March that year. She moved Paraffle into a studio in Edinburgh, and brought her partner Ali on board to help her grow Paraffle even further. Sammy continues to be inspired by the natural world, flowing patterns, and bright colour combinations.

Sammy loves running workshops - one of her joys in life is seeing people learn and grow and know she's played a part in that, however small.




Cathy Backett Apr 2024

The teacher, Sammy, was first class, helpful friendly encouraging and organised. Very informative class and we all found it fun and easier than expected. Good value for money and all materials supplied. Skills learned for life!
Thank you Sammy from all three generations!

Rosiepin Pinar Pala Mar 2024

Sammy is a great embroidery instructor! With her friendly attitude you would love embroidery even more. I learnt a lot of stitches in 3 hours and I enjoyed every bit of it. I would definitely recommend anyone to go for a workshop with her.

Charlotte Duncan Feb 2024

Could not recommend this class with Sammy more highly! What an absolutely brilliant few hours we had and learned a wonderful new hobby that I can’t wait to do more of. The class was really well paced and Sammy did a great job of showing us the different kinds of stitches and giving us practice of them one at a time so we could get the hang of it. We could choose what design kit we wanted to do (amazing variety to choose from) and then we got to take everything home to finish it with our newfound knowledge. Sammy was so warm and friendly and knowledgeable and it was a nice class size - it felt like we were just a group of friends hanging out doing some stitching! Communication beforehand was great too with an email from Sammy with all the details we needed to find the studio and how to contact her on the day if we needed. 10/10.

Sofia Lampitsi Feb 2024

Great venue, the teacher was super friendly and approachable and we learnt and practiced all kinds of stitches! We all got home with the cutest little work of art
Highly recommended!

Hannah Chalmers Oct 2023

My daughter and I had a lovely morning getting started with embroidery. We each worked with a full kit each that we took home with the confidence to finish. They are great quality and Sammy was a knowledgeable and patient teacher.

Gina Martin Sep 2023

Sammy was helpful and knowledgeable. The small class size worked really well. Loved the choice of patterns and the takeaway packs. Overall a brilliant morning!

Isabel Hunter Sep 2023

Thank you so much Sammy for such a lovely morning of embroidery! I learned all the basic stitches which I had been attempting for months and not was not getting right. I am excited to finish off our project which was from one of Sammy's beautiful kits as well as my own projects. I have the confidence now to embroider beautiful things. Thank you for 3 hours of embroidery fun. Isabel

Louise Gibson Aug 2023

Great class, would highly recommend. Sammy is a great teacher and took us through all the stitches we would need to complete our pieces. Lovely friendly atmosphere and all materials provided. Takes another few hours to complete the embroidery outside of the class but it turned out great.

Textiles class review by Louise Gibson - Edinburgh

Alison Thomas Aug 2023

A lovely relaxing class. Sammy was welcoming and friendly and the kits are lovely. Highly recommend if you're looking for something creative but not too daunting for a Saturday morning.

Sonia Tadic Jul 2023

Totally worth it ! Sammy's explained everything so clearly that it make it very accessible to anyone of any level to understand and achieve their master piece !
The studio was very pleasant extremely bright and confortable with all you need and so many choices of design to choose between for your first project.
I highly recommend Sammy's classes or home kit !
Thank you so much for this Great Saturday morning starting the week end with a very positive note !

Beginners' Embroidery Workshop review by Sonia Tadic - Edinburgh

Margaret Gouldsbury May 2023

Really enjoyed Sammy's Embroidery workshop. Everything provided in a bright room with plenty of space.
Sammy is a brilliant embroiderer and teacher, and the 3 hours went so quickly. She is cheerful and fun and had us mastering all sorts of different stitches, showing us how to cope easily with any difficulties we had.
We went home with everything needed to complete our work, and all instructions etc in case we forgot anything.
Thank you Sammy!

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