University students have big designs on textile printUniversity students have big designs on textile printUniversity students have big designs on textile printUniversity students have big designs on textile printUniversity students have big designs on textile printUniversity students have big designs on textile print

University students have big designs on textile print

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Four final-year students from the University of Cumbria watched their designs spring into life at a local printing works this week. In partnership with printers Stead McAlpin of Cummersdale, the students had been tasked with creating an innovative textile design, with the chance to have it printed up into 10 metres of fabric.

University lecturer Susan Harvey says: 
 “This has been a wonderful opportunity for the students to see their work move through production in a commercial situation. This glimpse into the workings of the textile industry will be invaluable to them as they move into their careers.  All of these students are graduating this year and will be displaying their final projects in our summer exhibition at the beginning of June. 

“The original intention was for Steads to take two students on placement, but when they came to view the work they were so impressed with the standard that they decided to take forward four designs into production. We are very grateful for this opportunity to work with them and would like to thank them for the support they have given the students.”

With a heritage dating back to 1835, Stead McAlpin manufacture printed textiles for many of the finest home furnishings on the market. Works manager Mark Bradley explains:  
“We were keen to work with the university to encourage new designers, giving them an insight into a working manufacturing unit. We were extremely impressed by the quality of the designs and the originality of the students’ work and were delighted to encourage and develop their individual projects.

“This partnership was championed by our employees Tony Muir (new product development) and Elaine Watson (studio/CAD operator) and we have been thrilled with the result.”

The four winning students have each spent three days in the studio at Cummersdale, working on the preparation of their design for rotary screen-printing, becoming involved in colour separations, creation of screens and the design’s final production.

The fabrics printed at Stead McAlpin will be part of the display of work from contemporary applied arts students that travels to London at the end of June, to take part in the prestigious New Designers Exhibition, the showcase for this year's graduates from across the country.

Hannah Moss is 21 and lived in Lytham St Annes before coming to study at the University of Cumbria: “With growing up by the sea, I have always been fascinated with the concept and fluidity of water. This fascination became the inspiration for my design; I wanted to portray the intricate and delicate detail of the droplets and the soft pastel tones promote this idea of delicacy and softness.”  
She adds: “Just to have that glimpse into the production process was an amazing experience and has reinforced just how much I'd love to be a part of that industry."

The inspiration for 48-year-old Julie Logan’s design originated in her love of nature and the woodland which surrounds her home in Hexham. Her print is called In the Garden and has a fresh spring-like feel. She says: “Working with the team at Stead McAlpin has been a fantastic opportunity and an invaluable experience; it has been great to be a part of the industrial printing process from the initial design stage through to the final rotary printing.”

Leah Knight (23) comes originally from Trawden in Lancashire. Her busy and full pattern is based on a jungle theme with inspiration coming from tropical flowers. She comments: “I have learned what it is like to work with repeat patterns on a large scale, to see the whole development of pattern from paper to fabric, and the use of many different colours.”

Emily Ball (22) from Preston found her inspiration in the industrial revolution in the north of England. “I wanted to represent the factories and mill town houses and the colours and shapes that can be found there. I have also been influenced by the work of L S Lowry and the way he used layering to create depth in a scene,” she explains. “Working with Stead McAlpin has been a brilliant experience and to be able to see all the processes involved in printing a fabric in industry has been really interesting.”

The University of Cumbria Summer Exhibition will be held at Brampton Road and Caldewgate from Saturday 31 May until Friday 6 June, 10.00am – 4.00pm (closed Sunday).

University students have big designs on textile print
University students have big designs on textile print