Inspirational textiles: Printed textiles at the Arts Degree Show

Floral printed fabric used to upholster an armchair with coordinating wallpaper behind it

Textiles: Innovation & Design – print

This is the second of my blog posts about the Arts Degree Show at Loughborough University. This time I’m going to show you inspirational work by BA Textiles students specialising in Printed textiles. My previous blog post was about Woven textiles.

This year 33 final year students specialised in print, so I’m only showing you a small selection of their work. You can see more photos on the Arts Degree Show website.

Helen Whalley

You couldn’t miss Helen‘s vibrant and exuberant fabric collection. My favourite is the piece at the back on the right; it’s just so full of joy!

Helen has used the colours and textures of an English country garden, heightened and combined with pattern and flowing brushstrokes. She has used a mixture of processes and fabrics to create these fashion prints for Spring/Summer 17. She’d love to see them used on oversized street-style silhouettes; however, I could see these bold flowers on interior fabrics.

Helen won the Shirley Conran Travel Scholarship. She had placements at H&M, Dunelm and Tatty Devine.

Floral scarf and lengths of printed fabrics

Sophie Thorne

I love the fabric that Sophie used to upholster the chair. The central placement of the bird sitting in a gap in the foliage works really well.

Sophie was inspired by the beauty and diversity of Africa, in particular the endangered species, verdant foliage and exotic fruits native to the Congo rainforest in Western Africa. Hence, her colour palette contains a mixture of dark and vibrant tones.

Sophie won the Standfast and Barracks live project (2016). She had placements at Monsoon Accessorize (London), House of Hackney (London) Fusion CPH Design Studio (Copenhagen) and OOMF Interiors.

Floral printed fabric used to upholster an armchair with coordinating wallpaper behind it

Chloe Robinson

I love the drawings of flowers that Chloe used for her printed fabrics and paper. Chloe’s ‘Scandinavian Spring’ collection was inspired by Spring flowers, so she used a natural colour palette in fresh pastel tones. She worked in a style influenced by William Morris, then blended her contemporary prints with a typical Scandinavian interior, to create a modern collection.

Chloe had placements at ASOS, Longina Phillips Designs and Timorous Beasties. You can see the influence of the latter in her work.

Floral printed fabrics

Charlotte Stocker

Charlotte‘s floral designs are beautiful in a quieter, more understated way.

Her interiors print collection was inspired by British florals. She created her prints by juxtaposing a combination of observational drawings, photographic and digitally rendered designs of flowers and foliage. Then Charlotte translated her designs onto fabric using screen-printing, digital prints and combinations of the two on different weight linens and lightweight devoré fabrics.

Charlotte had placements at Tom Cody (New York), Zandra Rhodes (London), Clarissa Hulse (London) and Romo (Nottinghamshire).

Floral printed fabric used to upholster an armchair with coordinating wallpaper behind it

Emmie Bloor

Emmie was influenced by the natural aesthetics of animals, insects and foliage. She used her intricate drawings and mark making as a basis for her screen printed and digital rendered fabric collection. Take a close look as her drawings of dogs are very appealing!

I love how Emmie displayed her print collection together with a cute dog in a kennel.

Emmie won the Standfast & Barracks competition with her work to be sold on their behalf in a trade show in Italy. She had a placement at Taylor McArdle.

White dog kennel in front of wall hung with brightly coloured printed wallpaper with a dog pattern
Brightly coloured printed fabrics, with a dog theme, used to cover cushions

Ellie Soper

Ellie‘s ‘Unstately Elegance’ collection was inspired by the faded grandeur of former stately homes such as Whitley Court, Caulk Abbey and Whitwick Manor.

She has used processes such as foiling, flocking and devoré on leather, suede and velvet. She evokes the contrast of grand rooms with areas left to decline by using neutral tones together with accents of bold and metallic colour. Ellie’s inherently British collection is given a modern twist by using large oversized imagery.

Ellie exhibited her work at Première Vision Designs, Paris (2016). She had placements at ASOS (London), Fusion CPH (Denmark), VM Fabrics (London), Tom Cody (London), Timorous Beasties (Glasgow) and A Woman’s Touch Decoration (Worcestershire).

Printed fabrics with a woodland theme used to make cushions and hung on the wall

Hannah Smith

Hannah‘s fun collection is quite different to the others. I think her shoes will be popular!

Her Spring/Summer collection, ‘Fun and Games’, was inspired by visiting the V&A Museum of Childhood. While there, she saw a vast collection of toys ranging from construction to mechanical and puppets to early learning toys. Hannah has used a range of techniques to distort her imagery as well as figurative motifs to complement the mechanical and construction elements of toys. She hopes that her fabric collection will evoke memories of childhood.

Hannah had placements at Thornback and Peel (London), Dunelm (Syston) and Longina Phillips Designs (Sydney).

Pink shoes printed with a swirly pattern in pale colours
Printed fabric with a cowboy pattern

A few thoughts about printed textiles

Seeing work by Print students inspires me to draw. The four students, inspired by flowers and foliage, have quite different illustrative styles as well as distinctive colour palettes.

With respect to knit design, I find it easier to use simple, stylised images when creating intarsia patterns. This is a good thing, because although I can produce realistic drawings, they do take me rather a long time. Also, it’s easier to knit intarsia when there are fewer colours to manage.

Additionally, it’s interesting to see how Print students use their drawing in a decorative way, rather than for pictures on a wall.

Many people are put off drawing because they think that their work should be realistic. The beautiful work by students specialising in Printed Textiles from Loughborough University shows that this doesn’t always have to be the case.

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  1. Helen Whalley

    Hi, Just stumbled across the picture you took of my work from a few years ago – I’m glad it inspired you, and hope you’re still drawing! Thankyou for the nice blog post!

    1. Being Knitterly

      Hi Helen, your work was so full of joy! I hope you are still using your creative skills. I’ve done very little drawing recently: it’s on my list for when I finish my current big project.