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
By Kylie Hill
BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion Student
For two years I studied A-levels in Art, Textiles and Psychology and then a year completing an Art & Design Foundation Diploma Level 3. I left this course knowing I wanted a career in fashion, but not necessarily in design.
After visiting and applying to many universities I decided Birmingham City University was the right choice for me, because of the BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion (FB&P) course they offer and the wide range of topics covered. I was impressed by the breadth of career paths that will be open to me, at the end of this course and the opportunity to work on live briefs with companies, in my favoured industry areas.
Coming from a course that was design focused, I hoped that the FB&P course would give me further insight of the fashion industry, building on the knowledge I had gained working part-time at Topshop, for the past three years. This is exactly what the first module ‘Fashion Business Context’ has done for me! The structure of the module meant it involved students from all backgrounds and really engaged my interest and motivation in working towards my fashion career goals!
The Events Management module of BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion has been running for 10 consecutive years now and continues to thrive. Its roaring success has made it a resounding favourite module for the Fashion Business and Promotion Students at BCU and with this year’s first event less than two weeks’ away, we wanted to know what the hype is all about!
Events Management is a live module in the second year of the Fashion Business and Promotion Degree, requiring students to work in teams to plan and execute a real life event. Not only do our students carry out this module as a live professional brief, but they start the project with zero budget and must use their entrepreneurial and negotiation skills to fundraise.
By Sophie Hawkesford – Print Designer
BA (Hons) Textile Design Graduate 2014
Hi! I’m a freelance printed textile designer and project manager for a textile design studio, and I want to give you a bit of insight into the wonderful career paths that are accessible with a textile design degree.
I think the title ‘textile designer’ is so easily misinterpreted because it is such a blanket term – people usually assume I just design clothing! There are so many different types of textiles that need designing; technical textiles, upholstery textiles, embroidery for textile application, printed textiles and not forgetting automotive textiles. The list goes on….and we haven’t even considered trend forecasting, wallpaper design and retail application!
Applying to study at University can be extremely daunting, especially when you aren’t entirely sure what career path you wish to pursue. I was quite naïve and narrow minded when I began my studies at BCU and did not quite understand the breadth and diversity of direction regarding creativity and employability in the textile industry.
Hopefully by the end of this post you will have discovered at least one new career path that is achievable after studying Textile Design, and be more informed than I was!
To support your application you will be asked to bring your portfolio to an Applicant Taster Day. As a Textile Design graduate I understand how nerve-racking it can be to collate your work into a focused portfolio, ready for a portfolio review. A well thought out portfolio is your tool to making a great first impression to your potential university tutors, as well as being a resource you will continue to use on your creative journey.
Your portfolio is a fantastic opportunity to show who you are beyond your paper application. It’s about your creative ability and your potential – make sure you let your personality shine through!
It is important to understand that portfolios are subjective so what you choose to include is up to you, but if you’re struggling with ideas of what to include or how to structure it take a look at the following guidance:
If you need any more help or information about creating your portfolio head to our School of Fashion and Textiles website.
By Kyri Kallis-Panesar
First year BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion student
Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to attend a catwalk show by BA (Hons) Fashion Design graduates who took to the runway at Birmingham New Street Station. Directed by the internationally acclaimed Birmingham City University alumnus Lee Lapthorne, the catwalk featured twelve collections of high-end fashion produced by BCU students.
By Karen Nutton
First Year Fashion Coordinator and Lecturer
The start of a new curriculum for BA (Hons) Fashion Design, saw the birth of a new collaboration between BCU and Newlife; a charity that supports disabled children, providing essential equipment for children with cancer, birth defects and diseases which often present lifelong challenges.
By Katie Turton
Final year BA (Hons) Textile Design
The opportunity to write a guest blog for Scarlet Opus, who specialise in consumer and design trend forecasting, came during my second year when we got to our work placement module.
The module is all about finding a 4-week work placement. Whilst at first this felt like a daunting task of finding somewhere that would take me on, the more I searched the further I got. My interests lie within the interior trend forecasting industry, so I contacted many companies asking for the opportunity of a placement, until I secured one at a trend forecasting company up in Newcastle.
However, one other company, Scarlet Opus, also got in touch to say that wasn’t the right timing for a placement with them, but that they were very much interested in staying in touch with me after seeing my digital portfolio!
So, why did I contact the company again over summer?
I decided that because Scarlet Opus had offered to stay in touch with me, it was only right for me to take them up on this chance. I think it’s important to grab opportunities with both hands and take them whilst you can, so over the summer I took photos of the new work I had completed since first emailing Scarlet Opus and made a new digital portfolio for them to view.
With finishing my first year I wanted to see the Fashion and Textiles graduate show here at BCU and also visit the national New Designers exhibition in London to keep me busy with creative ideas and motivation to produce work over the summer.
The work on display from graduating Fashion and Textile students at BCU was truly an eye-opening experience to see the standard of work and journey they have experienced through their degree.
(Image: School of Fashion and Textiles Graduate Show, 2017)
Our BA (Hons) Fashion Branding and Communication course opens students up to a variety of fashion-related jobs, ranging from fashion journalism and brand management, to styling and photo-shoot production.
Paige (who is about to graduate) is taking the trend-forecasting and styling skills she’s recently gained to set up her own publishing business.
Before she escapes for the summer, we squeezed in a quick Q & A to find out more….