WSA Students featured on Because

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Final year Knitwear student Suzanna James awarded main student prize from The Textile Society

Final year Knitwear for Fashion student Suzanna James, has just been awarded the main Undergraduate Student Award from The Textile Society of £1000. There were also three runners up from other higher education institutions winning £500 each.

The competition was held at The Textile Society’s Antique Textile Fair in Manchester, alongside many interesting producers of textiles/fabrics/garments as well as a lot of vintage clothing. The students were asked to set up a space with their work, and then talk to the judges and all the delegates during the day.

As part of the prize Suzanna has been asked to write an article for The Textile Society’s journal ‘TEXT’ which will be in next year’s edition and has been encouraged to use the society’s logo on my final year work. She is also now part of the ‘Alumni’ group of winners, so my work will be featured in future exhibitions that are held by the group. 

About Suzanna’s work: ‘In order to develop my Pre-Collection fabrics, I continued to explore my fascination with re-discovering lost textiles. I have looked into historical North East Russian knit traditions, and moved onto an in depth exploration of the Traditional Guernsey Sweater. I also broadened my research across the renowned textiles of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, to include Uuve Snidare’s well known ‘Fiskartrojor’ book which pinpoints notable knitted garments through history and from around the world. This book is in the context of Fisherman Jumpers, as they clearly demonstrate the progression and evolution of traditional knitwear techniques and patterns. This includes Scandinavian patterns and Fair Isle designs.

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For my final major project, it was my aim to continue studies of these lost and unusual techniques and designs in order to promote ancient and historical knitted fabrics in a modern and contemporary way. I have done this by using materials and practices that benefit the environment and the producers of textiles in Britain and around the world, in order to create my final collection of knitted fabrics, around my chosen topic, Lost and Found knitted techniques.

Additionally to this I will continue to draw inspiration from the natural world and specifically fisherman, the sea and surrounding landscapes of the geographical homes to the knit patterns I have been researching. In this way, the two aspects of my project, lost and found knitting techniques and ethical materials, are combined by the celebration of the natural world, by use of natural fibres, and creative inspiration being drawn from the natural environment.’

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Please see this link to the Textile Society’s website to find out more about them, and the prizes and bursaries they award each year:

Well done on this great achievement Suzanna, and we look forward to seeing your Final Knitwear collection very soon!’