What is: Textile Design? no.1

Anne Marr and Susannah Mitchell

Insights Editors

Textile design is broad subject area that stretches beyond the fashion world. Anne introduces us to the different paths you can take to explore the potential of materials and make textiles.


Textiles are everywhere: a knitted dress, a printed wallpaper, a woven carpet or a digital pattern projection. As a textile designer it is essential to have a passion for materials and textures, a healthy obsession with patterns and a love for colours!

Studying textile design allows you to explore a wide variety of directions from fashion fabrics to material design as well as interiors applications and colour forecasting. On the degree course I run you can try out Weave, Print and Knit in year 1 and then specialise in one of these pathways in year 2.

Being in a textile workshop making fabrics is still a big part of the course in order to understand how different materials react to different processes.

“This is complemented with new digital skills and non-traditional workshops – from recycling to electronics – to explore future materials.”

Here are some of our brilliant graduates and the colourful work they make. Scroll down and see where studying textile design has taken them in life after university:


Salah Ud Din – Weave

Credit: ‘Final year project, 2014, Salah Ud Din.
Salah Ud Din’s graduate work bridged futuristic and traditional textile practices. He produced bespoke light-emitting wall installations using hand-weaving techniques and optical fibres, bringing everyday spaces to life. He is currently working as a freelance textile designer, specialising in innovative textile installations for interiors. He works with clients such as The Worshipful Company of Vintners, Stowe House and Christie’s.

Explore more of Salah Ud Din’s work on his website


Georgia Fleck- Print

Credit: ‘Carpet Everything’, 2015, Georgia Fleck. Georgia’s final year project was a playful response to the problems posed by unwanted and discarded materials. She drew inspiration from the bingo halls and theatres of her grandmother’s youth. Using salvaged carpet remnants Georgia worked with non-traditional methods of carpeting, collage, stitching, shaving, printing and dyeing to repurpose the old into the new.

Find out more about Georgia Fleck’s work on Volt Café


Oliver Thomas Lipp – Knit

Credit: ‘Extending the Body, Hair and Skin’, 2015, Oliver Thomas Lipp.
Knitter Olly Lipp examined the surface of the human body to inform this collection. He designed a collection of intricate and transformative fabrics, which fall and move with the wearer. The fabrics demonstrate how non-conventional materials can be elevated to a luxurious aesthetic through technique and process. Olly currently works as a freelance knitwear designer and has exhibited his work in London, Brussels and New York.

See more of Olly’s work on Instagram


Kasia Franczak – Knit


Credit: ‘In Search of the Uncanny’, 2015, Kasia Franczak.
Knitter Kasia Franczak took inspiration from traditional folk craft from her Polish heritage and the work of director David Lynch to inform her final collection. Working with themes of uneasiness, mystery and other-worldliness, she playfully layered transparency and heavy texture to portray a sense of hidden space. Since graduating, Kasia has been involved in film projects, applying her eye to other disciplines.


Find out more about Kasia’s work on her website


Piero D’Angelo – Print

Credit: ‘Hybrid’, 2016, Piero D’Angelo.
Printer Piero D’Angelo’s graduate work explored the hybridous relationship between man and machine. Through his initial research he examined how the human body could evolve in the future thanks to emerging technological and scientific advances. His collection of organically textured fabrics mimic the aesthetics of microorganisms and combine print and hand embroidery techniques. Since graduating, Piero has been working as an Insights tutor amongst other things.

Piero D’Angelo won the Dorothy Waxman prize for ‘Hybrid’. Explore more on Trend Tablet


Mark Edgington – Weave

Credit: ‘Men of the Moon’, 2016, Mark Edginton.
Mark Edginton’s collection of woven jacquard fabrics for menswear drew inspiration from lunar surfaces and space travel. The collection combined bold graphic elements and a monochrome palette with accent brights. Mark is currently working in-house as a woven and printed textile designer at a London-based menswear label.

Browse Mark Edginton’s collection on Arts Thread


Sally Cheung – Print

Credit: ‘Lisbon’s urban environment: organised control vs the unexpected’, 2016, Sally Cheung.
Printer Sally Cheung’s graduate collection was a playful response to an impulsive trip to Lisbon. She was inspired by the bold colours and graphic, patterned facades of the immediate urban landscape. In her work, Sally combines traditional methods of screen-print with contemporary laser cut processes on neoprene fabrics, through pattern and surface manipulation.

Explore more of Sally Cheung’s collection on Artsthread


Marnie Gooch – Knit

Credit: ‘Failed Utopia’, 2017, Marnie Gooch. In her final year project, Marnie Gooch explored the mid century vision of social housing in London – ‘streets in the sky’ – and the subsequent shift to neglect, crime and individual isolation. Drawing upon her own environment, the collection combined multi-faceted textural elements. Patchworked to evoke a warm feel of familiarity and comfort she used scraps of found yarns, unravelling, re-making, stitching, joining and darning them together to produce the final garments.

Visit Marnie Gooch’s Tumblr


Tasnim Begum – Weave

Credit: ‘Metro-Structures’, 2017, Tasnim Begum.
Weaver Tasnim Begum’s collection was influenced by the issue of overcrowding, claustrophobia, and the invasion of personal space, that one faces whilst travelling on the tube. The physical infrastructures of various train stations were used as inspiration for shapes, form and colour to create high-end luxury 3-dimensional woven designs, that cocoon the wearer – enveloping them with a sense of security and protection.

Take a look at Tasnim Begum’s collection on Artsthread


Looking for more inspiration?

Check out Susannah’s ‘What is: Textile Design?’ pinboard

Anne Marr is Course Director of BA (Hons) Textile Design. Find out more about the course:

BA (Hons) Textile Design

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