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Contemporary Textiles Student Visit

A few weeks ago Oliver and Ella went over to the Shetland College UHI to meet with the Contemporary Textiles students and present prizes for a design competition we set the students earlier this year.

All Shades2As part of the course the students are often set live briefs and competitions and we took the chance for the students to use and design with the unique Heritage wool,  since we now have the yarn available on cone and in ball it was a perfect opportunity to see what the students would come up with.

The students were asked to create short garments which incorporated aspects of Shetland knitwear in a contemporary way.

IMG_2941Dorothy Fraser was inspired by the Old Shell pattern, a traditional lace motif. She reversed the knitting as a design detail and also explored the use of very large needles and traditional stitches which created a very open lacey top.

IMG_2939Elaine Nicolson also used traditional stitches and techniques to create a modern hooded cape.

IMG_2940Using a mix of knitting and crochet Joyce Leask was inspired by vintage garments and she also embellished her garment with fleece, an interesting technique.

IMG_2942Kirsty Nicolsons garment used the traditional technique of Fair Isle, taking a new approach to the Fair Isle yoke, by using a subtle striping effect on the body.  The bright Yoke utilises the new shades which we released early last year. Kirsty knitted her prototype on a domestic knitting machine with the possibility of the design being transferred on to the industrial Shimi Seiki machines of which the Colleges Textile Facilitation Unit has three. Kirsty Nicolsons garment was chosen as the overall winner of the competition and Oliver presented her with a gift token for Jamieson & Smith

Kirtsy Nicolson

photo courtesy of Dave Donaldson

Oliver said ‘Jamieson & Smith have always supported the textile course and College since its conception so we think its a great way for younger and mature students from Shetland and further afield to enhance their skills. We look forward to more design projects with the students in the future in collaboration with Jamieson & Smith, Curtis Wool Direct and the Real Shetland Company’


photo courtesy of Dave Donaldson

Thank you to the College for inviting us to see them and we look forward to more projects with them in the future!

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. When I visited Shetland In January I spent a couple of hours at Shetland College and it was time very well spent. The staff and students are so enthusiastic it is hard not to support their ambitions and that is what we are trying to do.
    I have hopes that we will be able to work even closer with the College in the future and if our plans for expansion come to fruition we will be well on the way.
    Encouraging students to learn about wool is one of the aims of the Campaign for Wool. As a CfW Council member I have been amazed by the work of students at the leading Textile/Fashion Colleges of the United Kingdom. Their work has been recognised by HRH The Prince of Wales and indeed by fashion editors around the world. Shetland College has students with equal talent and hopefully we can help put their work on the world stage as well.
    Best wishes,

    March 25, 2014
  2. Gail Roche #

    Your winner designed a super sweater…hope you will do the pattern for hand knitters…Gail roche

    March 25, 2014
  3. Elaine #

    Such lovely garments. I think I have seen those amazing professional knitting machines in New York. The designers make up their patterns, pick their yarn, take it to this establishment and your dream pattern comes true in one day after a very smart person programs the huge knitting machines. Amazing to watch them work and see the garments they’ve created.

    March 25, 2014
  4. stashdragon #

    Great work by all the students! I too hope to see handknitting instructions published for the garments.

    March 28, 2014

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