Type: Gallery
Category: Student stories

Once again, students from BA(Hons) Textile Design have been dazzling the Bradford Textile Society (BTS) judges at their annual competition, taking home awards and commendations.

Olive Grover, a third-year specialising in mixed media, won 1st prize in the Lapa Charitable Trust Award for hand embroidery, for the second year running. Helena Cockwill, a third-year specialising in weave, received a Commendation for the Clothworker’s Company Award.

To receive a commendation or award from BTS is a highly respected accomplishment; established in 1893, the BTS is the oldest textile society in Britain, if not the world.

For Helena, her commendation builds on her previous success at the BTS annual competition, where she has been awarded prizes at both the 2017 and 2018 events.

Helena told us: “This year’s competition was much more competitive. The section that I entered was a combination of two categories last year: a woven fabric for interiors and a woven fabric for fashion. I came first in the interiors section last year, so with the added competition it’s nice to know that I received a Commendation.”

The piece that Helena entered this year was part of her final year collection: handwoven and jacquard woven fabric samples created for “the future of luxury train interiors”, inspired by New York subway stations. 

“The basis for this collection,” she told us, “was from a trip I took to New York last summer. It’s inspired by my brother’s urban photography that he took while we were out there. I took the colour and shapes from these images and abstracted them into designs for my hand woven and jacquard woven fabrics. I often create digital, hand drawn and painted designs to plan out my samples, to explore shape and colour.” 

Helena added: “I love being able to create fabrics from individual threads. I enjoy designing and once I start weaving, I find it really therapeutic.” 

In June 2019, Helena will be presenting her graduate collection at New Designers in London, an exhibition of 3,000 hand-picked graduate design talents from around the country. After she graduates, Helena will be returning to New York for an internship at a weaving studio.

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