Textile student wins with wool

2 August 2016

Inspiration can come from anywhere – music, art, or, in Lizzie Kimbley’s case, from old, decaying buildings.

The Woolmark Company’s Marta Amat presents The Woolmark Company Bradford Textile Society award to Lizzie Kimbley.

Norwich University of the Arts Textile Design student Lizzie Kimbley has won the 2016 Woolmark Company Award as part of the Bradford Textile Society Awards. The award invites entrants to create a woven or knitted fashion fabric containing a minimum of 60% Merino wool.

“For this project I looked at textures within decaying buildings such as peeling paint, crumbling plaster, lichen and so on,” explained Lizzie. “I wanted a soft yet textured feel to the cloth, so hand-dyed Merino wool combined with some textured yarns in different weights was perfect for this. I was really pleased with the final samples and love the way the yarns settled together after the finishing processes.”

As part of the prize, Lizzie has the opportunity to complete one week’s work experience with International Woolmark Prize winner Teatum Jones.

“I hope to gain an insight into textile design for the fashion industry. I’m looking forward to finding out about their design process, what materials they work with and seeing the fabrics they create.”

Lizzie’s winning wool-rich fabric.

The Bradford Textile Society, established in 1893, is the oldest of its kind in Britain and continues to open doors to the next generation of designers and technicians. Its annual design competition provides encouragement and inspiration to textile students and practicing textile designers to stimulate new developments in textile design and construction.

The awards offer an excellent opportunity for future textile designers to have their work recognised by the most important people within the industry. They also are crucial in ensuring the textiles industry remains strong and relevant by supporting the education of emerging designers.

“The competition is a great opportunity to work to a specific brief and then to show the work to industry professionals. The awards are well respected and recognised across the industry so it’s a great award to have it on my CV and a real confidence boost as well.”

As Lizzie enters he final year at university, thoughts naturally turn to life as a graduate. “I’d like to continue working in woven textile design when I graduate. As well as the design aspect, I really enjoy the process of hand weaving and working with yarns so I’d love to combine both of these elements working in the textile industry.”