Jenny Frean studied Weaving at Middlesex University, followed by an MA in Jacquard Weaving at The Royal College of Art, London, graduating in 1972. She founded and led First Eleven Studio, a group of eleven internationally renowned textile designers, from 1987 until 2018. In 1998 she was made a Royal Designer for Industry, a prestigious award conferred by the RSA. Jenny now lives in West Sussex and works in an idyllic converted barn in her garden. She continues her design practice working with various clients on a commission and colour-consultancy basis. Jenny is known for her refined colour palette as well as her design versatility and unique pattern construction, and is adept at combining traditional textile design methods (painting, mark-making and collage) with computer graphics. Her greatest inspiration is Japanese textiles for their simplicity, strength of composition, balance and sublime colour.
Jenny says, "The challenge of working well in this way is enormous ... it's pure designing without distraction. You don’t get involved in any production or end product ... you have to come up with new ideas all the time and they all have to be innovative, beautifully thought-out and executed, exciting and different ... each one good enough for someone to clearly see its potential and possibility for a successful fabric or surface."