Our second-year BA (Hons) Textile Design students recently had a digital embroidery workshop with Pete Tarrant, of Digitek Embroidery, to develop their knowledge of the industry digital embroidery program, Wilcom. Pete has worked for a multitude of prestigious clients, including Ted Baker so we were extremely excited to gain insight and understanding of his profession, industry links and the resources he uses to create his work.
During the workshop, each student had the opportunity to digitise their design and stitch an embroidery sample on Digitek’s machine, which they kept for personal reference or added to their project development. The masterclass gave our students a deeper understanding of the Wilcom Digital Embroidery Suite and how to successfully direct the program’s capabilities to their digital embroidery.
‘Pete was brilliant at teaching us the vast possibilities of Wilcom. The workshop extended my understanding of the software hugely and I now feel very confident using and experimenting with design, achieving looks I hadn’t perceived before.’
Laura Wonnacott – Second Year Textile Design Student
Pete brought along an industry embroidery machine to demonstrate his work as well as giving students the experience of using an industry-standard piece of equipment. Digitek’s embroidery machine is capable of producing samples at a very fast rate because it has 12 needles, opposed to the 6 needles that our Brother PR machines have. This meant all 24 students had a chance to embroider their digital samples during the class, a bonus as they are working towards completing their Design Production and Application module. This module takes them a step closer to developing their Final Major Projects next year and continuing their professional development.
It was a great experience to ask questions about the programme, and informative in relation to the industry too. It’s been inspiring in showing the potential of Wilcom as a student in relation to being creative and it’s forming big parts of my current projects.’
Hope Carter – Second Year Textile Design Student
Our Embroidery technicians Amy Tang, who specialises in hand embroidery and Nahida Mahmood, a digital embroidery specialist joined in as Pete discussed the professional application of digital embroidery and how to progress in the industry. The workshop explored consideration of fabrics, colour palettes as well as repeat pattern considerations – all vital processes when planning design production.
Technician Nahida was especially excited about Pete’s visit as she hopes to ‘continue increasing the student’s knowledge of the software so that they have the opportunity to push the boundaries of digital embroidery and evolve their creativity.’
Our students have access to a whole range of embroidery equipment Including Brother PR Multi-needle machines that allow you to stitch with 6 colours at a time! We also offer Bernina and Janome sewing machines as well as a Brother Innovis V5 which offers digital aspects and is a stepping stone between our Brother PR digital embroidery machines and the standard sewing machines. As well as this there are smocking, felters and embellishing machines. We encourage the attitude that if you can design it digitally you can stitch it digitally so we also have 5 Wacom Intuos Pro graphics tablets to really allow our students to maximise their creativity and develop their skills ready for industry work.
‘The workshop with Pete was amazing, not only being taught how to use the programme by someone who knows it through and through, but being able to chat with him. The class allowed us to ask any questions we had, whether about Wilcom or his experiences or his favoured ways to use stitch. It was so interesting.’
Lucinda Laughton – Second Year Textile Design Student
He presented embroidery samples, that he uses for client consultations, to give our students understanding of what is expected at industry level. He also generously supplied underlay, fabric stabilisers and a selection of threads so our students were able to fully immerse themselves in the workshop and experiment with materials.
The workshop with Pete was very informative, he was a good teacher and the way he delivered the session helped me remember the steps to then do it in my own time. I was a bit nervous to use Wilcom at the start but now I love it.’
Caroline Daws – Second Year Textile Design Student
We are so excited to see how second-year students will expand their creativity with this new knowledge of the Wilcom software and how this will inform design decisions in future projects.
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