Textile Designers' 13 Awards For 'Cut Above' Work

9 May 2011

Francesca Colussi

Francesca Colussi, photo courtesy of Furla.

Francesca Carlussi's work

One of Francesca's award winning textiles.

Textile Design students at the University of Derby have scooped 13 awards at one of the UK's most prestigious industry competitions - with one designer winning six times.

The Bradford Textile Society, established 118 years ago, runs an annual design contest aimed at encouraging new designers of innovative textiles. It receives more than 900 submissions nationally, making Derby's success in so many categories all the more remarkable.

Among the Derby winners was Italian-born Francesca Colussi, who completes her degree this summer, 2011. She scooped six of the University's 13 awards and a total of £1,000 in prize money.

Her awards were:

  • 2011 Design Award of the British Guild of Textile Designers
  • Clothworkers' Foundation Award (for innovative combination of textiles processes for the interiors market) - First Prize (£400)
  • Twist Award (awarded by judges' panel) (£200)
  • Clothworkers' Foundation Award (woven fabric for interiors) - Second Prize (£250) and a Commendation
  • Worshipful Company of Dyers Award (printed fashion textile design on any base fabric) - Second Prize (£150)
  • Clothworkers' Foundation Award (for an innovative combination of textiles processes for the Fashion Market) - Commendation.

Francesca is a mature student who worked in children's publishing in Bologna, Italy, before moving to Derby in 2008 to begin her Derby course. She said she had been taken aback by the number of awards she'd won.

Among her varied designs were a blue and green abstract motif inspired by cityscapes, digitally printed onto wool; and a knitted felted fabric using two different pieces, laser cut and then interlaced together to give a 3D effect of white flower petals on a grey background.

Francesca said: "I have put in a lot of work during my degree and these awards are a welcome sign that it has paid off.

"It's important to know, as I complete my course this summer and will be looking for work within the textiles industry."

This wasn't Francesca's first taste of success. She had won in previous Bradford Textile Society contests and in March, 2011 had handbags she'd designed for the Italian company Furla appear at Milan Fashion Week.

Other Bradford Textile Society Design Competition awards which went to Derby BA (Hons) Textile Design students at the awards ceremony at Bradford's Rio Grande Conference Centre on Wednesday (May 4) included:

Clothworkers' Foundation Award (woven fabric for interiors):

  • Third Prize (£150) - Jayne Woodbridge, 37, of Alfreton, Derbyshire, on the third year of the degree course
  • Commendation - Jodie Hatton, 21, of Fairfield, Worcestershire (second year).

Holland and Sherry award for first-year degree students only (woven fabric in any fibre or blend):

  • Second Prize (£100) - Amy Dudman, 21, of Keighley, Derbyshire
  • Third Prize (£50) - Ellis Dillnutt, 20, of Leverington, Cambridgeshire
  • Commendation - Keeley Bracegirdle, 18, of Swinton, near Mexborough.

Worshipful Company of Dyers Award (printed fashion textile design on any base fabric):

  • Commendation - Amy Parsons, 24, North Rowley, Hamnish, Herefordshire, (third year).

Prestigious Textiles Award (printed interiors textile design for the domestic market):

  • Third Prize (£100) - Kim Lord, 24, of Burton-On-Trent, (second year).

John Angus, Principal Lecturer in Textile Design at the University of Derby, said: "We make sure our students understand that being at University is not about buying something, it is about becoming something. These award winners now know that they have become designers.

"This is a tremendous validation of the talents and commitment of our students, and of our ambition to put them in contention with the best in the sector."

For further information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email s.kirby@derby.ac.uk

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