A flair for woven textiles

Woven textiles

You may have noticed that I have not been blogging so frequently recently. Posts were planned and photos were taken, but there has not been the time to pull it all together. There are many good reasons for this! I have been working at Loughborough University in the Textiles Department. And yes, I loved working with the students there!

Loughborough University students who study for a BA (Hons) in Textiles: Innovation & Design specialise in their second year, choosing from Woven, Printed or Multi-Media Textiles.

I know least of all about weave, but I am fascinated by the variety of fabrics that can be produced and would love to have a go one day (one life really is not long enough)! In this post, I’m going to show you the work of some of the final year students who specialised in woven textiles.

The Woven Textiles pathway has a fantastic reputation, nationally and internationally. All final year students exhibit their collections at ‘Indigo’, an international textile trade fair in Paris, where many sell samples to prestigious clients. Students can try a variety of looms: you can see some of the weave facilities.

Helena Rowley

Helena‘s display caught my eye as soon as I entered the room because her colour combinations are gorgeous. Her inspiration was the patterns in brick walls, as well as reflections of buildings. Helena used a variety of wool and silk yarns beautifully. She used warp-to-weft-faced twills (the technical bit – it’s a type of weave pattern).

Woven fabric by Helena Rowley

Woven fabrics by Helena Rowley

Lauren Hart

This year, Lauren won the second prize in The Bradford Textiles Society Competition, for her women’s wear collection.  She chose a wonderfully vibrant colour palette. She used manipulated wire and plastics along with a range of techniques, such as floating yarns and distorted 3D structures. Lauren had placements at Liberty in London, Kendal Upholstery in Cumbria and Margo Selby in Kent.

Woven fabrics by Lauren Hart
Woven fabrics by Lauren Hart

Nicola Adams

Nicola‘s inspiration for her collection was the history, colours and patterns of the Alcazar Palace in Seville. She hand-dyed silk and linen before weaving these beautiful pieces. This year, Nicola won a scholarship from The Worshipful Company of Weavers as well as the third prize in The Bradford Textiles Society Competition. She also had placements at Diane Von Furstenberg in New York and James Lakeland, Walpole British Luxury and Kurt Geiger, all in London.

Woven fabrics by Nicola Adams

Poppy Peterson

The inspiration for Poppy’s collection of samples for tailored women’s wear was the architecture and cityscapes of Copenhagen and Venice. She also hand-dyed cotton and ribbon yarn to create a lovely calm colour palette. And, just in case you were wondering the sample in the front is machine knit.

Woven fabrics by Poppy Peterson

Ruth Hepburn

Ruth created contemporary fashion fabrics for her final collection. She used natural dyes to create a subtle colour palette of wool, silk and paper yarn. She experimented with hand manipulation techniques on a loom, to produce her samples. The inspiration for her work was the form and detail of doors!

Ruth also won a Scholarship from The Worshipful Company of Weavers 2014, as well as Commendations in The Clothworkers Foundation Award and The Woolmark Company Award at The Bradford Textile Society Competition in 2014. Ruth completed placements at Dash and Miller in Bristol and Annie Greenabelle in London.

Woven fabrics by Ruth Hepburn

Susannah Hickman

The inspiration for Susannah’s final collection of contemporary heritage menswear fabrics was agricultural equipment and machinery. She combined traditional twill weaves, colour and weave and crepe techniques to create luxurious fabrics using silk and fine.

Woven fabrics by Susanah Hickman



Twenty final year students specialised in woven textiles this year. I have just shown you a small selection of work by six of them. I would have loved to have included more! If this has inspired you, there are more photos on the Flair website.

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