Chairman Barbara Kennington, prize winner Sophie Manners, prize presenter Nelly Rodi and Woolmark’s Peter Ackroyd.
Sophie Manners won the prize for her superb textile designs which were created with 60 per cent or more Merino wool. The prize is in support of The Campaign for Wool with patron HRH The Prince of Wales and honours the inventive use of wool in textile design.
The prize was judged by James E Sugden OBE, director; James Dracup, group managing director, both of Johnstons of Elgin; and Masahiro Oono, textile design project manager of Japanese specialist wool weaver Nikke. Both companies have long a experience in creating fine wool fabrics for the luxury market and were exhibitors at Première Vision. They selected Sophie as the winner out of the 24 shortlisted designers taking part in the Texprint programme this year, all of whom presented their work at Indigo.
She received £1,000 in prize money, which was presented by this year’s Texprint prize presenter, the esteemed trend forecaster Nelly Rodi and The Woolmark Company’s Peter Ackroyd.
As part of her prize, she will also have access to training on the benefits and uses of wool through her nearest Woolmark office.
Mr Sugden said the judges selected Sophie because of her superb use of Merino wool in terms of the variety of weights used; technical excellence and the commerciality of her weave designs. She has a distinctive style and Mr Oono praised her tremendous imagination.
Mr Sugden said: “Technically, her fabrics are well-constructed and executed. There is a commerciality that can be translated into something saleable.”
The judges commended Israel Parra-Zanabria’s print designs; Mr Dracup highlighted his translation of ideas to execution into something commercial.