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Texprint first: Miroglio’s new internship award

30 September 2014 by Roger Tredre

Charlotte Hetheridge showing her collection to a buyer at Indigo

Leading Italian print specialist Miroglio Textile is sponsoring a new Texprint award that provides an opportunity for a young designer to work at the company. Designer Charlotte Hetheridge is the first winner.

It's one of the world's leading textile companies. An iconic name dating back to the 19th century when Carlo and Angela Miroglio opened a draper's shop in Alba.

Now Miroglio is at the heart of investment and innovation in textile design and manufacture, particularly in digital technology. Which makes the introduction of the new Miroglio Texprint Award for Digital Innovation a landmark moment in the evolution of Texprint, a charity set up to help new designers develop their careers.

The winner of the award is Charlotte Hetheridge, who studied print design at London's Royal College of Art. Besides winning a cash prize, Hetheridge has the opportunity to go to the company’s headquarters in Piedmont, Italy, and gain experience and exposure to the marketplace.

She says: "It's such a fantastic opportunity to develop my work. I'm completely overwhelmed and thrilled. My work has always been a mix of handcraft and digital – it's amazing that we are on the same page."

The prize has been initiated by Elena Miroglio, vice president of the Miroglio Group, and commercial director Chiaretto Calo. Elena Miroglio says: "We believe in education and we are on a constant quest to find new creative processes to bring to the company."

Speaking at the presentation at Première Vision Pluriel (September 17), Chiaretto Calo said: “Our philosophy is to push the boundaries of what is possible in textiles, combining creativity with high technology."

At Première Vision Pluriel, Miroglio Textile was promoting its new DMIx technical facility, developed with hardware and software specialists such as Caddon, Epson, EFI and Color Digital. The ground-breaking new technology enables Miroglio to reliably translate the visual impression of the colours and patterns shown on a mood board into identical production colours. It's a huge step forward for digital printing and confirms the company's status as a true technological pioneer.

Miroglio Textile is a long-time supporter of Texprint and the company’s senior print designer Louise Somers took part in Texprint herself back in 2008. "I remember coming to London for my first interview," she recalls. "I couldn't believe that a charity like this existed. It seemed like a dream! If you don't have connections, it can be so difficult to get going in a career."

Louise Somers on the Miroglio Textiles stand at Première Vision, September 2014

Somers, from Dublin, had studied printed textiles at Glasgow School of Art. "At Texprint, I didn't win the Print prize, but I got offered a job! I sold a lot of work. I had created lots of unusual illustrations, quite organically, not obviously commercial, with a different hand-feel. In Paris, an Italian mill offered me a job in Como. Two weeks later I was in Italy."

Later, back in London, Somers worked for four years at innovative retailer Ted Baker, designing prints for menswear and womenswear. And then came the opportunity to work at Miroglio. She is still based in London but travels between a studio in the centre of town and Miroglio's Italian headquarters. She says: "I focus on prints, particularly for the UK and Northern Europe markets. It's about being innovative, about newness and on-trend prints. We take orders both from the fast fashion and high-end market."

For Somers, the new internship award is great news. "We are very excited about it. Miroglio is very progressive with technology, such as the Evolution project to make products and inks truly sustainable within 20 years. And the state-of-the-art digital printers are incredible."

For winner Charlotte Hetheridge, it's going to be a great experience. "I can't wait to push my work to the next level," she says.

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Texprint is supported by the International textile industry and by British charitable foundations, however as an individual you can also make a difference.

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