Making It In Textiles 2016

14 October 2016 by Editor

Texprint was delighted to be invited to take part in the third Making It In Textiles conference held in Bradford earlier this month; a conference made possible by the support of The Campaign for Wool, The Clothworkers’ Company, The Drapers’ Company and The Weavers’ Company.

Making It In Textiles conference, introduced by James Sugden of The Weavers' Company

The audience comprised 3rd year textile students, their tutors and course leaders, press and industry leaders.  Given that Bradford is firmly embedded in the weaving industry, the focus not surprisingly was on careers in weaving, with most of the students specializing in this field - that said the messages from all the speakers could apply to students in almost any field.

Philippa Brock, textile designer and senior weave lecturer at Central Saint Martins

There was a real buzz in the room as students chatted with peers from other colleges, and with other guests.  There was a lot to take in, workshops to tackle, and advice and ideas coming from all directions.

Christopher Maclean May of The Clothworkers' Company talks with a student

Panel discussion with designers sharing their experiences - including Cherica Haye, Rolls Royce (second from left), and Andrew Stephenson, Paul Smith (second from right) - both Texprint alumni

This was a chance for the young designers, soon to embark on their career, to listen to speakers whose companies are among the best in the UK, specialists in their field with international order books.  Adam Hainsworth, of vertical mill Hainsworth, talked of the commercial realities of keeping a two-century-old textile manufacturing business profitable, and Paul Johnson of finishers W.T.Johnson & Sons, talked about the link between design and weaving and how the limits of the ‘possible’ can be pushed in the finishing of fabric. 

Richard Humphries, director of luxury silk jacquard weavers Humphries Weaving, entertained the room with tales of amazing bespoke fabrics created for the Queen, for The National Trust, suit fabrics for the male guests at Mark Zukkerberg’s wedding – and even an extraordinary jacquard of skulls for a one-off  ‘goth’ wedding dress.

And there were also more personal journeys to listen to – from Emma Sewell of Wallace Sewell; and Julia Skliarova, senior textiles editor at WGSN – both, as it happens, Texprint alumna.  Also Joan Johnston and Vanessa Podmore, whose careers have touched on procurement, buying, and design across a wide range of brands from Jimmy Choo to Burberry.

Emma Sewell of Wallace Sewell (left)

Julia Skliarova, senior textiles editor at WGSN

Visits to local mills were on the agenda for Day 2.  Most students had never visited a mill before and were amazed by the scale, the engineering, and the way in which cloth designs are developed and taken into production.

All-in-all an extraordinarily important and eye-opening event which will undoubtedly help and enable young designers on graduation to explore the many opportunities available to them in the industry – from design to technical, from sales to marketing, and so much more.

Abraham Moon & Sons


Abraham Moon & Sons


Abraham Moon & Sons


Darren McCluskey, director of Camira 

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