Printed Textiles Student Ellie Bennewith offers us an insight into the experience she gained through the Industry Placement Module.
During my second year I was exposed to multitude of exciting roles within the textile industry. Two roles that I’ve explored within printed textiles were working with the team at Fairbairn and Wolf Studio (FWS) and designing in-house for a week with Blendworth Interiors.
I really enjoyed my time at FWS (a freelance studio based in Peckham) not only did I learn a lot about the industry but I learnt what it’s like to be part of a design team and create relationships with other designers. My week at Blendworth Interiors was a completely different atmosphere because fashion is much faster than interiors. The pace was much slower, which, allowed designers to have more time to consider and create stories for each of their designs. I think I preferred the faster pace as FWS, it was ‘mental’ at times but I left the studio proud of what I had achieved. This has really helped me to discover which area of the textile industry I would like to go into. I think, before my placement, I was definitely leaning towards interiors but now I like the intensity of the fashion industry.
This experience has been invaluable to my development as a designer. On reflection, I have developed key skills that will make me more employable, such as, improving my CAD skills and developing a commercial hand on screen and paper. I built on my transferrable skills as I listened to feedback to improve my independent work but also experienced what it is like to work within a design team – an experience which cannot be replicated at university.
I’ve been exposed to experiences that can only happen on placement, like the preparation for tradeshows and getting to assist a client. Through working with FWS I’ve become more aware of culture impacting the concept of taste, as a result it has forced me to work out of my comfort zone and develop an awareness of how the textile industry works on a global scale. This will have a significant impact on my studies when I enter my third year as I will recognise and be able to produce a cohesive collection demonstrating a variety of skills.
Before I started my placement, I had my reservations, I was afraid to start in a new environment with completely new people. But the experience was far better than I expected, I loved doing the Placement Module. After being in education all my life, it was a fantastic opportunity to try something different and have a taste of what life could be like after I graduate. For such a long time I convinced myself that all I wanted to do, once I left education, is travel around the world before the stress of getting a job. Since my placement, my opinion changed, the prospect of getting a job in an industry that I love is more exciting than travelling. Something I never thought I would say!!
Woven and Knitted textile design students all report having a truly inspirational and engaging experience at Spinexpo, Paris. Presenting their work, networking and supporting the Spinexpo team were just few things the students experienced. Here’s an edited selection of what the student’s thought.
Contributions from Amy Halley, Emily Johnson, Amy Osgood, Amber Davis and Aimee Dye
Spinexpo Paris, known for featuring cutting edge technologies and having the highest technical expertise, was a great way for us to exhibit our work professionally, understand how a show of this scale works and to see how designers work with spinners to showcase yarns and their versatility. It was also an extremely valuable experience to speak to different companies including yarn producers and garment manufacturers. For example, from Wanziman Hong Kong Limited we learnt about an interesting new technology which imitates woven patterns into knitted fabric to create a unique material which has qualities of both knit and weave.
Yarn suppliers also exhibited new technologies, combinations of fibres and innovations including eco-friendly products, tape yarns, metallic textures, woollen yarns and paper qualities; the sheer volume of possibilities was eye opening.
Each stand was exciting and enticing, each seller had many potential buyers viewing their sample racks. It is perhaps easiest to envisage the buyers as children visiting a sweet shop for the first time; completely animated and engrossed in the products.
The Spinexpo team were extremely kind and encouraging to us. They made us feel a part of the family and become involved in every aspect of the show. A most wonderful experience, which has been invaluable.
This semester London and Shanghai based design studio F-W-S came in to work with the second year Printed Textiles students. The brief required the students to develop design ideas quickly and creatively using the print workshop as a place to generate ideas rather than just as a place to produced finished designs.
Tali Furman, creative director, and Alex Poyner, designer and WSA alumni, came in to give an all-day workshop at the beginning of the brief. The students then had to independently develop a large selection of design ideas and resolved outcomes for critical review, working in the ethos of the studio.
At critical review Tali Furman joined academic staff and to give feedback and select students for potential summer internships. At the end of the project Tali invited 4 students for interview – Cassie MacDonald, Aleks Lund, Vivian Ge and Paulina Nieduzak.
Hannah aim to create a luxury sportswear inspired women’s knitwear collection of outfits that are innovative and forward thinking, using denim fabrics and yarns in combination with other sustainable and high quality materials in order to create a highly technical, luxury fabrics. She hopes to promote the concept of slow fashion and aims to have a low impact on the environment.
To continue the idea of clothing with a long life, Hannah initially focused on using pre-loved denim and transforming it into something new and innovative. “I am interested in the history of denim and am inspired by how denim has been a part of the lives of so many people; from a vast array of sub-cultures and classes in societies throughout the centuries. From ancient Japanese Boro textiles to present day casual wear, I am fascinated by the stories behind the clothing that people wear.”
Hannah has used many knitting techniques on a wide range of machinery; these include domestic, Dubied and Shima Seiki knitting machines across a variety of gauges, exploring intarsia, e-wrapping, weaving in, pleating and ribbing. She has also embraced hand dyeing and machine embroidery, in order to add a further depth and dimension to the fabrics. Developing on from the idea of water and preserving the landscape, she uses heat pressing techniques with plastics, resulting in a waterproofed effect.The use of heat pressing techniques with plastics, resulting in a waterproofed effect, encapsulate the idea of water and preserving the landscape.
Congratulations to Miranda Wang for being accepted onto the Printed Textiles postgraduate MA course at the Royal College of Art.
Miranda is currently in her final year at WSA after joining us less than two years ago from Dalian, China. We are sure she will take her lively enthusiasm for printed textiles forward and to new levels over the next two years at the RCA. Well done!
Digital printing company Silk Bureau are running a student INTERIOR DESIGN Competition. https://www.silkbureau.co.uk/student_page/
Open to all students in 2016-17 Academic Year
We have been really impressed with the standard that graduating students presented at the 2016 New Designers event. From fashion to interiors the students surpassed themselves with innovative design. We were so proud to have played such a huge part in their success story by printing their designs on our extensive fabric range.
Our latest student competition has been based on one of our finds from the show.
Aim: Create a design for a statement piece of furniture to showcase at the Silk Bureau.
Brief: Design a seamless repeat pattern to be used for upholstery. The design should reflect the Silk Bureau as a digital textile printing specialist. The design should be dramatic and provide a ‘wow’ factor for visitors on entry to our premises.
Resources: www.silkbureau.co.uk www.facebook.com/thesilkbureaultd/
Specifications: Repeat pattern. TIFF file format. 180 – 300 dpi. Flattened. RGB. Contact us on 01386 861122 for the link to upload your completed file. Deadline: 9th December 2016. All entries will be printed on 12th December 2016 and the winner will be announced 9th January 2017. All entries must be accompanied with an order form clearly headed ‘Student Competition – Interiors 2016’
Winner: The winning design will be printed on Poly Canvas and used to re-upholster seating displayed in the reception area at The Silk Bureau Ltd. (Furniture supplied by the Silk Bureau Ltd) The winner will be invited to visit the Silk Bureau and see the processes involved in digital fabric printing. The winner will receive 5m (worth over £140) of the design printed on Poly Canvas, selected for the upholstery project. The winner will be promoted on our website and social media.
£25 entry fee. Includes 1m of your design printed on Poly Canvas (normal cost over £46) and return postage.
winner will be promoted on our website and social media.
Interiors Competition 2016 – Terms & Conditions
- All entries must be submitted with a completed order form clearly headed ‘Student Competition – Interiors 2016’ . These will then be known as the ‘Entrants’.
- Entry is only open to current students in the 2016 – 2017 academic year and MUST be accompanied with a copy of their Student ID.
- All artwork submitted MUST be print ready.
- The Silk Bureau Limited will not make any amendments to Entrants’ original files.
- A pro forma invoice will be raised within 7 days of submitting the competition order form.
- The entry fee of £25 must be paid upon receipt of the invoice and is non – refundable
- Entry fees include 1m of Polyester Canvas printed with the Entrant’s print ready artwork and delivery with in the UK only.
- Additional postal charges will be applied to Entrants outside of the UK postal area.
- All artwork being entered into the competition will be printed on 12th December 2016 and despatched with 7 working days to an address with in the UK.
- The Silk Bureau Limited reserve the right to change the fabric without notice to an alternative also considered to be appropriate for upholstery.
- The Silk Bureau Limited reserve the right to refuse an order and/or competition entry.
- Entries will not be accepted after the closing date. 9th December 2016
- The Silk Bureau Judges will make the final decision and will not enter into any discussion regarding the result.
- The Winner will be selected on 14th December 2016 and announced by 16th December 2016. The Winner will be notified by email and/or phone call.
- The Silk Bureau Limited reserve the right to publish details of the Winner and winning entry for marketing purposes pertaining to The Silk Bureau Limited.
- The Winner will be invited to visit The Silk Bureau Limited at their Evesham premises from 10:30 to 16:00 on an agreeable date to suit both the Winner and The Silk Bureau Limited. Expenses and arrangements incurred by the Winner i.e. travel, is not included.
- The Winner will be entitled to an additional 5m of fabric suitable for upholstery as chosen by The Silk Bureau Limited.
- The award is not transferable to any other party. There is no cash alternative.
- The Silk Bureau Limited reserves the right to cancel or amend the Competition or the rules without notice.
Any irregularities and variations in the weave of our fabrics are in NO way to be considered as defects. They are a characteristic of a natural fibre.
It is important to allow for shrinkage. Shrinkage can be up to 10% on most fabrics, however for stretch fabrics it can be up to 20%. Short runs shrink more than longer runs pro rata; however this is not a precise science. Shrinkage can vary from one batch of fabric to another.
The natural shade of fabric may vary from roll to roll and is a circumstance beyond our control.
Please examine the fabrics carefully before processing. Direct or indirect claims for any reason whatsoever will not be accepted once the customer, or any party acting upon their instruction, has cut, or processed the fabric in any way.
Claims for any defects, or shortages, must be made in writing within seven days of delivery of the fabric.
Fabric specifications given are as accurate as possible to allow for printing of images. Rolls of natural fabric may vary in size between batches, so selvedge to selvedge dimensions are not provided. Selvedge areas may not be printed on.
Colours depicted on screen and colours actually printed may vary due to the nature of fabric/textile printing and the variation of individual monitor displays.
Between now and February 2017, London Transport Musuem are hosting Weaving Futures In The Studio, part of their year-long public programme of events, and situated in the ‘pop-up’ designer’s Studio integrated into LTM’s temporary Designology exhibition. It is a three-month focus on digital jacquard woven textile design and moquette concepts, exploring process and making, and is curated in partnership with research and design industry experts Philippa Brock and Samuel Plant Dempsey.
Weaving Futures explores the importance and potential of woven textiles to the London Transport System and features a state of the art TC2 digital jacquard loom. The idea is to actively explore how good design makes life in London better, through residencies and participatory workshops. The work does not exist currently and as the exhibition progresses this will be made and then displayed. It also examines the process of designing for and production of woven textiles.
Each week there are different weave designers, researchers, artists and industry designers resident in the studio, with each resident responding to the same design brief, relating to data and transport. The residents will be working with Studio weavers, Rosie Green and Hanna Vinlöf–Nylen, to realise their final design on the digital loom. Outcomes and final designs will be displayed in the Studio and shared during the Museum’s Late Debate and Friday Late events.
Residents: Assemble, Beatwoven, Philippa Brock, Camira, Central Saint Martins, BA Textile students, Samuel Dempsey, Linda Florence, Gainsborough Weaving Company, Eleanor Pritchard, Rare Thread (aka Kirsty McDougall and Laura Miles), Josephine Ortega, Ismini Samanidou, Studio Houndstooth, Takram & Priti Veja
Drop into London Transport Museum’s pop-up Studio for a unique behind the scenes chance to experience contemporary transport design innovation through a year-long programme of events. The studio is open to the general public and one entry ticket gets you in for a year. The programme is part of this exciting Designology exhibition and includes:
· one-day workshops with London’s best known transport designers
· design residencies, briefs and challenges
· intellectual late debates, workshops and talks
The workshop programme includes among others:
25, 26, 30 January 2017 – Research Collaboration with Brock, Dempsey and Veja – Designers Philippa Brock, Samuel Plant Dempsey & Dr. Priti Veja will be coming together in the studio to work collaboratively on a brief, combining their expertise in design thinking, with Brock on 3D woven jacquard and haptics, Dempsey on product design and 3D printing, and Veja on woven e-textiles. Find out how electronics can be constructed in woven structures to make integrated soft circuits, wearable technology and smart textiles. philippabrock.com I design-plant.co.uk I weft-lab.com
9,10 February 2017 – Weaving Music with BeatWoven® – Meet award winning, avant-garde textiles label BeatWoven® and find out how they use songs and sounds to visualise and orchestrate pattern formations in textile design, particularly through the technique of weaving. Watch live as they work with our weavers to interpret a brief on the Digital Loom. beatwoven.co.uk
17, 18 February – Upholster and Accessorise with Eleanor Pritchard – Meet hands-on London weave studio; Eleanor Pritchard (Texprint alumna), designers and manufactures of upholstery and interior accessories. Find out about using geometrics and graphic reversible patterns to create clean, contemporary design and observe their approach to our transport brief. eleanorpritchard.com
For more information go to http://www.ltmuseum.co.uk
We are very lucky to have worked on a live project with Sophie Steller and her trend driven Knitwear Studio for second year knit & weave’s first project this semester, leading to four work placements for two knit & weave students respectively in her studio in Twickenham, London.
A little bit about Sophie Steller and her company:
‘Our London based studio is home to a team of highly talented designers who have worked on projects for clients such as SPINEXPO, Novetex Spinners, TJ Maxx, AEO, GAP, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gant, A&F, Primark Stores, Marks & Spencer, H&M and Aroma Home.
We provide a wide range of knitwear related design services including:
- seasonal swatch collection
- colour & trend forecasting
- yarn development
- marketing & branding
- direct studio development
- mood & product boards
- concept fabrics’
We worked to an exciting brief set by Sophie, asking the students to approach their work in a more trend driven way. She asked the students to:
‘Develop your ability to research in a relevant, objective, and analytical way to be able to communicate your ideas with one strong, clear message.
The role of a designer is to find ways to creatively problem-solve. As a designer, whether you are designing your own collection, or working for a client you need to create desirability and suitability of your design to a consumer of some kind, and therefore whether you set the brief or the client does, you need to find the solution of creating something that someone else wants to consume.
The students were asked to:
‘Collect a range of 30-40 research images (these can be your own drawings or photographs, collage or a combination of all) of your own that observe and explore the following:
* Shapes * Textures * Colours * Atmosphere & mood * Touch & surface *
Be able to answer the following:
Why did you choose your subject and what did you found interesting and inspiring about it?
Once you went there what did you find out and observe?
Through your visual observations what did you find you liked about it and what ideas did it give to develop further?
What key elements have you identified as being important to inspire you?
From your observational research develop the following:
- A colour palette you can work with * Textures you like * Shapes or patterns you can extract from it *
- A mood or direction you can see it going into? Is it for menswear, womenswear or children? Is it dressy, contemporary, casual, sporty? Then develop your research into final fabrics and resolved garment or interior ideas that continue in this train of thought.’
The students then presented their final fabrics, presentation boards, and a Powerpoint presentation at the end of the six week project to Sophie Steller, and to tutors in their subject areas, Jane Landau for Woven textiles, and Sarah Elwick, & Lisa Burn-Hunter for Knitwear. The work was generally of a very high standard overall, and Sophie was very impressed with the work produced by the students. She will select her four students for internships in due course.
Well done to all involved. A great start to level two!