The best emerging textile designers

20 September 2016

The winner of the 2016 Woolmark Company Texprint Award has been announced, shining the spotlight on the best emerging textile designers studying at colleges across the UK.

Aline Galimberti, Jacob Monk and Jonathan Christopher

Dormeuil chief designer Aline Galimberti, along with 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize Europe menswear finalists Jonathan Christopher of Jonathan Christopher Homme and award winner Central Saint Martins graduate Jacob Monk (centre) with The Woolmark Company Texprint Award.

The Woolmark Company is pleased to announce Central Saint Martins graduate Jacob Monk as the winner of this year’s Texprint Award. Jacob was awarded for his original and “very commercial” designs.

Jacob took inspiration for his latest collection from a recent trip to Barcelona, where he studied traditional mosaics that later formed his delicate colour palette. Inspired by broken mosaic pieces and cubism, Jacob created his woven collection using Merino wool he had dyed himself in order to achieve the colours he desired. Jacob designed his lightweight fabrics with men’s trans-seasonal suiting in mind, mixing Merino wool and mohair yarns for added texture and hand feel. Jacob further developed his collection by applying hand and machine embroidered pattern, also using Merino.

The Woolmark Company Texprint Award was judged Dormeuil chief designer Aline Galimberti, along with 2015/16 International Woolmark Prize Europe menswear finalist Jonathan Christopher of Jonathan Christopher Homme.

Those eligible for The Woolmark Company Texprint Award must incorporate a minimum of 60% Merino wool into their textiles and demonstrate a good understanding of the fibre’s qualities and potential application in fabric. The Woolmark Company has supported this special prize for six years.

Jacob will receive £1000 prizemoney plus ongoing support from The Woolmark Company and opportunities to learn about developments, innovations and the supply chain for wool. In addition, The Woolmark Company will sponsor a dedicated presence for Jacob at Intertextile Shanghai.

“It is so good to see young people at the start of their careers who are really passionate about a very difficult industry,” explained Ms Galimberti. “Sometimes I feel they think it is ‘just a job’ but at Texprint you get a glimpse of the people who will really make a contribution because they are so committed and talented.

“In awarding Jacob this prize, there is the aspect of encouraging and helping to develop talent. Jacob needs to believe in himself because what he does is so well thought-out, creative, original and very commercial. He has a real link with a fibre like wool which is not easy to create, and his work is truly exciting.”

Jonathan Christopher added, “Jacob is using so many different techniques in the wool, and then he uses the outcomes again in print. It is very considered and he is not afraid to experiment and push boundaries. It is very subtle. Then he gives you a sense, a sketch, of how he envisages the collection being applied to menswear. It doesn’t just stay an idea - it’s a complete story. This is what I do with my menswear, so I can appreciate what he is doing.”

More than 200 graduates apply to Texprint to be considered for its extensive professional mentoring programme. Each year 24 are selected and go on to showcase their developing collections in London, Paris and Shanghai. The 24 designers benefit from internship opportunities sponsored by The Drapers’ Company and Creative Skillset. Texprint’s alumni have gone on to establish their own brands, such as fashion designer Alice Temperley and scarf designer Emma J Shipley; set up design studios such as Kirsty McDougall of Dashing Tweeds and knitwear designer Sophie Steller; or have joined the creative departments of international design houses and major retailers, including Givenchy, Tom Ford, Roland Mouret and Marks & Spencer.

“We are part of an exciting, but undoubtedly extremely competitive, industry that is continually updating itself; high-level design competitions such as The Woolmark Company Texprint Award encourage the next generation of designers - the future of the industry - to research and push the boundaries of what is possible,” explains Texprint Sponsorship Director Joanna Bowring. “In this case, traditional raw materials combined with cutting edge innovation and design bring new ideas to the marketplace; this gives competitive advantage to those companies that believe in the value of innovation and creativity.”