Textile students weave their way into industry

BCU BA (hons) Textile Design students at the Making It In Textiles Conference 2022.  Left to Right: Chloe Fellows, Cerys Russell, Sarah Mills, and Hannah Pincher.

Four talented BA (Hons) Textile Design students travelled to Bradford for the ‘Making It In Textiles’ Conference 2022, in what was a hugely valuable and memorable trip for both the staff and students involved.

School of Fashion and Textiles

Birmingham City University

Students Sarah Mills, Chloe Fellows, Hannah Pincher and Cerys Russell were given fantastic networking opportunities with top textile manufacturers, industry experts, design personnel, academic tutors, and students from fellow UK universities as well as alumni pursuing successful fashion and textile careers.    

As part of the conference, the students also visited a local mill, giving them an insight into how modern textile manufacturing facilities operate.

Chole Fellows and Sarah Mills both third-year Textile Design students attended the conference and reflected on how valuable attending events like this are as they look to break into the industry after they graduate.

Sarah said: “I gained invaluable experience from the Making It In Textiles Conference, the organisation that ran the event were great. After their speeches, I spoke with industry professionals who were really helpful and gave me great insight into some of the realities of the design industry.

“In the Textile industry, networking and developing contacts is really important, since the conference I have contacted designers and practitioners I met whilst I was there to help with my undergraduate dissertation research.”

Chole added: “There was a range of talks at the conference about how to make it in the weave industry. The advice they gave students like me looking to break into the woven textile industry included how to present yourself, and how to present your work on online platforms.

“The talks professionals gave also provided insight into creating strong CVs and editing your portfolio. The conference allowed me to network with top weaving companies and broaden my horizons into the textile industry as well.”

Dr Dilusha Rajapakse, Lecturer in Printed Textile Design and Researcher in Active Colour and Dynamic Textiles joined the students at the Midland Hotel, Bradford for the conference.      

This was the 7th annual running of the conference, this year welcoming 120 students and tutors, as well as a huge variety of industry professionals, making for a buzz of creativity and fresh ideas throughout the two-day free-to-enter event.

The 2022 edition of Making It In Textiles was made possible due to the continued support and sponsorship of The Campaign for Wool, The Clothworkers Company, The Drapers Company, and the Weavers Company, all of whom contributed to the event. 

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