Textile Sensations of South Korea

Prices from £4,599


6 Apr 2020 - 20 Apr 2020
Duration: 14 nights
Ref: 20003
With: Janice Gunner


Prices from £4,599
Single Supplement: £929
Deposit: £400

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South Korea has a long history of making and designing textiles. On this tour we’ll explore this history, through hands-on workshops with local experts and visits to national embroidery, textile and quilt art museums.

We’ll also explore many other aspects of this fascinating country; royal palaces, traditional villages and Buddhist shrines combine in this itinerary with fantastic gardens and scenic coastlines to create a tour that will intrigue and amaze at every turn.


Janice Gunner is an award winning textile artist, quilter, teacher and author. Her work is shown widely in solo and group exhibitions at home and overseas. Since 1999, she has travelled far and wide with invitations to teach in Australia, Japan, USA & more.

Janice has been teaching patchwork and quilting for 20 years, turning freelance as a Textile artist in 1999, allowing her the opportunity to indulge in her passion to make quilted textile art and to teach both nationally and internationally. Janice's work is continually evolving, current themes involve using her own hand dyed Shibori fabrics, Japanese and/or African Fabrics to produce work in a variety of styles and techniques.


Meet Janice Gunner at London Heathrow airport for our overnight flight to Seoul.


We arrive in Seoul early this morning and will be met by our English speaking local guide, who will accompany us throughout the tour. We'll then transfer to our hotel for some time to unpack and freshen up.

Today we’ll visit Gyeongbokgung, the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1897). Built in 1395, it is the largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by this dynasty. Gyeongbokgung served as the home of Kings of the Joseon dynasty, the Kings' households, as well as the government of Joseon. The National Folk Museum is also located within the grounds of the palace, which illustrates the history of traditional life of the Korean people.

This evening we’ll come together to enjoy a welcome dinner.


Our first stop today is Insadong Antique Alley, one of the most memorable streets in Seoul and the focal point of traditional Korean culture and crafts. We continue to Bukchon Hanok Village which was traditionally the residential quarter of high-ranking government officials and nobility during the Joseon dynasty. Here we’ll see the traditional Hanok houses and take part in a gold leaf imprint workshop with fifth generation royal gold leaf guilders. Our second workshop of the day is for making Bojagi, a wrapping or covering cloth that has played an important part in traditional Korean culture, being used to wrap, carry and store objects as well as for religious rituals and marriages.


Today we visit the De Militarized Zone, our only chance to get close to the border between North and South Korea. Our guide will explain the history of the division, from 1950 through to the inter-Korean summit held in 2018. The Military Demarcation Line was constructed 2km away from both North and South Korea, creating a total distance of 4km that has been managed by the military community since 1951. We’ll view North Korean territory from the Dora Observatory and walk into the mile-long infiltration tunnel, built by North Koreans trying to sneak into the South after the division.

This afternoon we’ll visit the Park Eul Bok Embroidery Museum. Park Eul Bok's journey in embroidery began when she travelled to Japan in the 1930's and studied embroidery at the women's art college in Tokyo. After a break to raise her family Park Eul Bok returned to embroidery in the 1960s, when she put on her first exhibition. She has since exhibited internationally, including two exhibitions which have also displayed the work of her daughter, who is following in her footsteps.


We start the day at the Chojun Textile and Quilt Art museum, founded in 1998 to preserve traditional Korean patchwork quilting techniques and to exhibit textile crafts from other countries. We continue to Seoul Tower, a landmark in the city offering panoramic views of Seoul and the surrounding areas. Our final stop for the day is Gwangjang market, the nation’s first market which continues to thrive today, and Dongdaemun shopping complex, renown for quality silk and hand-made goods.


Today we’ll spend a full day with South Korean quilter Hongjoo Kim. We’ll meet some members of her quilting group and take part in a workshop focusing on Korean patchwork techniques


We leave Seoul today and travel by coach to Jeonju. On route we’ll stop at Yongin and Seocheon. At Yongin we’ll visit Korea Folk Village, an open-air museum displaying over 260 houses reminiscent of the late Joseon dynasty, including various household goods from different regions. At Seocheon we’ll visit the Ramie Fabric Museum. Here we’ll view the entire ramie fabric manufacturing process and watch as women weave ramie products on looms. The fibre from the Ramie plant (a flowering plant in the nettle family), is white and lustrous and looks like silk, but it lacks stretch and elasticity. Extremely absorbent, much more than cotton, ramie fabric breathes well and makes comfortable clothing for warm and humid summers.

This evening we enjoy dinner together in Jeonju.


Our first stop this morning is Gyeonggijeon Shrine and Jeondong Cathedral. The shrine was erected in 1410 and holds the portrait of King Tae-jo, founder of the Joseon dynasty. The cathedral was built between 1908 and 1914, in honour of the Roman Catholic martyrs of the same period. Both buildings are located in Jeonju Hanok Village which contains 800 traditional Korean houses or hanok. We continue to Hapcheon, where we visit Haeinsa Temple, one of the head temples of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. It is most noted for being the home of the Tripitaka Koreana; all the Buddhist scriptures carved onto 81,350 wooden blocks. We finish the day in Daegu, where we enjoy dinner together.


Daegu is the city of textiles. Here we’ll visit the Daegu Textile Complex, the one and only textile museum in Korea. The museum exhibits and preserves objects relating to fashion and textiles as well reporting on the future of the industry. From here we travel to Gyeongju, where we visit Yangdong Village. The village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a traditional village from the Joseon dynasty. It is a fine example of Korean aristocracy lifestyle.

We spend the night in Gyeongju, where we’ll enjoy dinner together.


Today we spend a full day in Gyeongju. Our tour will include:

  • Seokguram Grotto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The grotto is a hermitage and houses some of the best buddhist sculptures in the world
  • Bulguksa Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is another of the head temples of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. It includes seven of the National Treasures of South Korea including stone pagodas, Blue Cloud Bridge and two gilt-bronze statues of buddha
  • Daereungwon Tomb Complex house the large tombs of kings and nobles of the Silla dynasty (57BC – 935AD). There are 23 tombs located here, the most famous being Cheonmachong and Hwannamdaechong
  • Cheomseongdae Observatory is the oldest existing astronomic observatory in Asia. It was constructed between 632 and 647 and was used for observing the stars in order to forecast the weather
  • Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond is located in Gyeongju National Park. It was part of the palace complex of the Silla dynasty

Dinner is included this evening.


Today we travel to Busan, the second largest city in South Korea and the ninth busiest sea port in the world. Those of us with a head for heights will visit the Oryukdo skywalk to see the dividing point between the East and South Seas. We’ll take a guided walk in Igidae Park, a beautiful seaside park, and visit Busan Tower giving panoramic views of the port. We’ll also visit Jagalchi Fish Market.

Afterwards we travel to Gimhae airport for our flight to Jeju island. We’ll dine together in Jeju this evening.


We enjoy a full day tour of Jeju island today. We’ll visit:

  • Spirited Garden, a beautiful garden originally cultivated by a single farmer from a wasteland of rocks
  • Yongmeori coastline, one of the most scenic places along Jeju’s southern coastline
  • Osulloc Green Tea Plantation and Museum, telling the history and tradition of tea in Korea
  • Jusangjeolli Cliffs, a spectacular volcanic rock formation
  • Jeongbang Waterfall, a 23-meter-high waterfall


We continue our tour of Jeju Island today with visits to:

  • Seongeup Folk Village, a small town that holds a vast amount of culture. Properties in the village have been handed down from generation to generation and include residential houses, confucian shrines and schools, ancient government offices, stone statues and monuments. Trees that are hundreds of years old stand at the centre of the village, preserving the dignified atmosphere of a bygone era.
  • Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise) Peak, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At 180m height it rose from under the sea following volcanic activity over 100,000 years ago. If the weather conditions are right we’ll also see the Women Divers disappearing into the sea and coming up with fresh catch.
  • Hyewon Eco Dyeing Workroom, where we’ll create a naturally dyed scarf


This morning we enjoy a hand-sewing workshop with Janice before we transfer to Jeju airport for our flight to Seoul.

This evening we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner.


This morning we’ll transfer to Incheon airport for our return flight to London Heathrow.


Twin/double share: £4599 per person
Single supplement: £929

Deposit: £400 per person


  • Return flight with Korean Air from London Heathrow to Seoul
  • Internal flight from Busan to Jeju Island
  • 14 nights bed and breakfast accommodation
  • 7 dinners
  • Coach travel as described in itinerary
  • Sightseeing, entrance fees and workshops as described in itinerary
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per person each day
  • The company and expertise of Janice Gunner
  • Half-day hand sewing workshop with Janice
  • The services of an experienced English-speaking local guide
  • Tips for drivers and local guides


Travel Insurance, meals and drinks not stated above


If you have a British Citizen passport you can enter South Korea as a tourist for up to 90 days without a visa. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into South Korea.

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures.


Why not bring a non-crafting partner with you?
If a non-crafting family member or friend wishes to accompany you on any of our holidays, and is sharing a room with you, then the following reductions will apply to the price the non-crafter pays:
Worldwide - £75


Stitchtopia Holidays are designed with all crafters in mind, wherever you live in the world! If you would like to make your own flight arrangements and meet us at our first hotel, please let us know - we would love to tell you more about our “meet us there” holiday discounts.


If you are interested in any of our Stitchtopia holidays but don’t have a friend to join you, why not join our ‘Stitch Together’ programme? Designed for those travelling alone, we will help you find someone like-minded to share with so you've no single supplement to pay and can enjoy the benefit of this saving.

Find out more about our "Stitch Together" programme >>

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