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Student finds pattern of success in national textile design competition


A University of Wolverhampton student pulled the rug from under competitors’ feet when she was highly commended in a national textile competition.

Kirsty Perkins, 20 from Telford, studying for a Textile Design degree in the Wolverhampton School of Art, was highly commended by industry judges for her rug design ‘A Flora Story’ at the annual prestigious Bradford Textile Design Competition.

Established in 1893, the Bradford Textile Society is the oldest textile society in Britain. The Society’s annual Design Competition is unique in its breadth of coverage of textile design categories and attracts over 1,000 entries from students throughout the UK.

British Wool and The Alternative Flooring Company set the challenge of designing a carpet or rug design using British wool, for residential or commercial use and were sponsors of the section entered by Kirsty.

The brief asked for the use of no more than twelve colours to be used from a set industry palette and that the design should be a set pattern repeat. Students were also asked to ‘visualise’ their design in-situ and provide technical notes.

Kirsty, a third year student, said: “I really enjoyed having the opportunity to take part in this live project. Designing for a specific brief and taking part in this competition was something exciting and refreshing.

“My course here at the University of Wolverhampton and the support available had been invaluable, giving me the tools and confidence to produce highly commercial design work.

“Throughout my time here, I have gained valuable design skills and knowledge to develop myself as a designer, and I feel ready and eager to pursue my creative career in the near future.”

Yve Houghton, Senior Lecturer in Textiles at the University, said: “I am delighted that Kirsty has been recognised by industry professionals for her design skills. Entering ‘live’ competitions are an integral part of the curriculum and clearly illustrate how the course promotes the importance of students being industry ready on completion of their degree.”

Sharon Watts, Course Leader in Textiles and Surface Pattern at the University, said: “The BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Pattern is a highly creative course designed to equip students with the skills, attributes and passion they need to work within the broad, fast-paced, exciting world of cutting-edge textiles and surface design.

“Students explore both traditional hands-on skills in studios & workshops whilst embracing new technologies and specialist equipment. This makes for a highly creative environment, preparing students well for the many varied career opportunities in the fashion and textiles industry.

Competitions such as this are vital for students to begin to understand the needs of industry whilst at the same time as pushing creative boundaries. Kirsty Perkins certainly embodies these attributes. Her dedication to her studies and her talent ensure she will certainly be a designer to watch in the future.”


For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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