Bradford Textiles Design Competition


The Degree team encourage students to submit applications for a number of competitions and sponsorship opportunities throughout the course and one such competition is the annual Bradford Textiles Design Competition run by The Bradford Textile Society, which attracts almost 1,000 entries.

Our 2nd year Degree students enter every year and in April 2020 five of them received awards. ‘The LAPA Charitable Trust Award’ category is an award for an embroidered textile design for fashion/accessories or interiors products, created using hand embroidery techniques.

Student Sabina Lima was awarded 2nd prize in this category for her entry ‘Morphogenesis’, as well as receiving a Commendation in ‘The Company of Merchants of the Staple of England Wool Award’ for the best design using wool (minimum 60%), chosen across all categories of the Bradford Design Competition. Sabina says: “For this competition, I created an acoustic embroidered panel for the office interior of the Leadenhall Building in the City of London. Inspired by nature, poetry and storytelling, this project came about from a poem ‘Ah! Sun-Flower’, found in the Book of Sons of Innocence and of Experience, written by William Blake. In a biological sense, ‘Morphogenesis’ means the ‘beginning of a shape’ but it is also a metaphor: it is the start of a process or development of a new product, and the idea of creating embroidered acoustic panels embraces this concept.

My aim is to create a work that is not just purely functional, but also a one-off art piece. Completely bespoke and handmade, acoustic embroidered panels can be applied in a range of interiors that emphasize style and appreciate the value of great craftsmanship, using traditional hand embroidery in a contemporary way.”

Four RSN Degree students were also Commended by LAPA: Felicity Billing, Hollie Philips, Daisy White and Millie Whitehead.

Felicity Billing’s piece, ‘Mirror Mask’, was designed to portray the idea of ‘two-selves’, almost portraying the angel and the devil. “The ‘White’ symbolised the purity, the good, a classy and sophisticated look. The ‘Black’ symbolised the bad and negative thoughts. Ironically, the idea stemmed from the use of embroidery equipment. Scissors, for example, can be used to neaten and make good, tidy up a piece of embroidery. On the other hand, scissors can also be used to deconstruct and distress materials. Much like the same thought process of the good and the bad. When these two things come together there is a difference but in most cases they mirror each other to create a mask of the good and the bad.”

Hollie Philip’s piece, ‘Specimen’, was inspired by medical jars and containers: “I started by creating a photo shoot in a glass cabinet that was highly inspired by Damien Hirst. I also took a trip to the Grant Museum of Zoology, University College London, to view their collection of specimens. From my initial samples, I created a photo-shopped room layout as wall paper, changing a lot of the levels and added filters. This was completely different to the initial sample and informed the pattern and stitch design for my final piece.”

Daisy White’s piece was entitled ‘Triassic Treasures’.  “I have vivid memories of fossil hunting as a child. My family would visit Lyme Regis a few times each year and I remember the excitement I felt breaking open rocks on the beach in search of ammonites. This project was inspired by these childhood memories and explores themes of embedding, imprinting and hidden detail. I believe adding height or 3D elements to textile art is a really important factor when creating depth, and for this piece I experimented with building height using felt and smocked strips of chiffon. The fine detail and ‘hidden’ elements included small hand dyed flutes, stacked closely in little groups along the chiffon, and finished with a small amount of beading and whipped wheels.”

Millie Whitehead’s piece, ‘Neotropical Realm’, was inspired by tropical foliage which also ran alongside the idea of pattern and texture. “My aim for this project was to create various concepts for luxury embroidered wallpapers, designed to be used in a minimalistic interior setting. I sought to create a juxtaposition between the base design pattern and the added Goldwork embroidery. The contrast between the bold natural pattern and the delicate defined Goldwork for me created an interesting final outcome.”


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