Textile Design student weaves colourful car fabric to fix “gap in the market”

24 May 2016

A custom car enthusiast has used her creative skills to design colourful fabrics for automotive interiors after spotting a “gap in the market”.

Victoria Squire, a Textile Design student at the University of Derby, has created 30 luxury weave fabrics featuring Native American patterns and geometric shapes.

Using pinks, greys and blues, her designs, which have been created for her final-year project, aim to modernise car interiors, giving them a fresh contemporary feel.

Victoria, 21, said: “Standard car seat interiors can be very dull. With custom cars, many people choose leather because it is seen as high-quality luxury – I feel there is a gap in the market for luxury weave which is why I have decided to challenge what is out there.

“The appearance inside is just as important as the outside, it makes the car.”

Victoria said she was inspired to design fabrics for the automotive industry for after spotting a car reupholstered in aqua blue Harris Tweed at a custom car show.

“I enjoy going to custom car shows because of the variety of different cars and styles that people show. A lot of people’s modifications are very imaginative and creative.

“Seeing this car made me realise that I could design woven fabric that was different and that could be used within the automotive textile industry.

“I had looked at the fashion and interior design industry and felt that everything had already been done – this gave me a different outlet to tap into and combine my hobby at the same time!”

Victoria, who is originally from Staffordshire, channelled her interest in the aesthetics of Native American bold patterns and graphic as a base for her designs.

Woman who made car fabrics with her fabrics

To create the fabrics, she carried out Jacquard weaving – a computer-aided design (CAD) of weaving – as well as hand weaving.

She added: “I had an aim to recreate the feel of commonly-used stitched leather. I have experimented with different weave structures to create a padded feel.

“The yarns I have mostly used are a collection that were kindly given to me by Autofil, a yarn provider for 40% of the world’s automotive textile industry, based in Nottingham.  

“After research, I met with a representative from of the company and, as they were interested in my work, they wanted to help me by providing me with a collection of yarns, 100% polyester, made for the automotive industry.”

Victoria said her fabric patterns were not designed for a specific car model but said she hopes in the future the weaves would be used in old, new and custom cars.

Kay Bolderson, Lecturer in Design at the University of Derby, said: “Vicky has succeeded in combining the two passions in her life... textiles and cars.

“Her collection for bespoke car interiors is inspired by Native American Indian imagery but uses laser technology and quilted weaves to give a unique outcome.”

Victoria’s work will be showcased at the University’s Big Show Public Exhibition from Saturday, May 28 to Saturday, June 11, 2016.

The exhibition, which is held at the University’s Markeaton Street and Britannia Mill sites, gives visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in a feast of visual art, design, textiles, photography, creative expressive therapies, architecture and engineering created by final-year students.

The Big Show is a series of live events and exhibitions across the city of Derby which offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the work of the University’s College of Arts, Health and Social Care and Engineering students.

Find out more about studying Textile Design at the University of Derby.