Creative designs by DMU students earn national recognition

Six talented Textile Design students at De Montfort University (DMU) have had their creativity rewarded by a leading textile society.

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Kerry Napier

Established in 1893, the prestigious Bradford Textile Society supports young students and designers through its annual design competition, which attracts nearly 1,000 entries from across the UK each year.

Final-year student Kerry Napier scooped first prize in The Clothworkers' Company Award, which recognises innovative combinations of textile processes. 

She was awarded £500 for her abstract wool design, which was also exhibited at Premier Vision Paris in February, one of the fashion industry’s most prominent exhibitions.

The 22-year-old from Newcastle said: "My work features needle felting, machine couching and hand tufting - all of which are techniques I learned during the second year of my course.

"I was inspired by structured botany and have enjoyed combining the geometry of machine couching with the softness of hand tufting.

"I was so shocked to win first prize. It's an amazing achievement for my CV as it's from a highly regarded organisation which everyone in the textiles industry respects."

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Jessica Gibson

Also a first prize winner, Jessica Gibson's pink and grey design earned her £250 in The Company of Merchants of the Staple of England Award, which rewards knitted fabrics showing creative potential.

The accolade came as a surprise to the first-year student, whose college background is in fine art and product design.

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"I'm overwhelmed as I really wasn't expecting to win," said the 19-year-old from Doncaster.

"My strength is more in printed textiles for interiors like wallpapers, but I wanted to do my best in the competition, so I really refined my work before sending it off. I also put my Photoshop skills to the test to show what my fabric would look like as a garment on a model.

"I'm so glad my hard work paid off. My first year has been challenging and eye-opening - I've learned a lot and this recognition is a nice confidence boost."

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Juliet Wightman

Juliet Wightman took second prize in The Woolmark Company Award, rewarding designs containing a minimum of 60 per cent Merino wool and which highlight the fibre's versatility and natural benefits.

The final-year student's menswear collection inspired by the organised chaos of commuting earned her £250.

"Last year I came third in the same award category, so to finish second this year gives me confidence in my progress. This award is a really important seal of approval for me," said the 22-year-old from Leicester.

Earlier this year, Juliet's collection was also celebrated by the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, which awarded her a £1,500 bursary to develop her work.

Also recognised in this year’s Bradford Textile Society competition were students Becky Davison (third prize in The Clothworkers' Company Award), Rhiannon Beech (commended in The Company of Merchants of the Staple of England Award) and Amy Smith (commended in The Lapa Charitable Trust Award).

The students received their awards at a celebratory ceremony in Bradford on Friday 11 May.

Posted on Friday 18th May 2018

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