Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I am a textile print designer based in Manchester. My role involves creating collections made up of 5 designs that work as part of a group and as standalone prints.
What course did you study at The University of Huddersfield and how did it prepare you for your work now?
I studied Textile Practice specialising in Commercial Embroidery. Although print was not my specialism at University, the CAD skills everyone on the course learns can be implemented and adapted for any job role. The drawing sessions also helped push my creative thinking and trying out different styles. One of the most important skills I developed on my course was trend research. My research involves looking at existing patterns in the homeware, fashion, and craft markets for inspiration. I also create colour palettes based on trend reports and recurring colours in the previously mentioned sectors.
What does a normal workday look like for you?
In a typical day I will work on designing printed fabric collections. The themes and colour palettes of the collections are determined by set briefs, upcoming or existing trends and any ideas I wish to explore. I will also review print samples to check for errors or aspects of the design that need changing.
What do you love most about your textiles?
I love seeing my designs translated to fabric and being involved in the whole design process. It’s also great to see the excitement of our customers when new ranges are released, especially when it’s a collection I have worked on.
Have you got any advice for the next generation of textile designers/makers?
Being able to conduct trend research without the help of trend forecasting websites is a valuable skill to have, as not every company has access to trend reports. Looking at existing patterns on the market and visiting exhibitions are great sources of inspiration. I would also advise new textile designers to hone their CAD skills. Software such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are my most used tools and can be adapted for many job roles and textile specialisms. I learnt illustrator while on placement and saw my design work improve immensely. It was also very useful for my digital embroidery work.
Where can we see more of your work?
To follow my personal work you can find me on Instagram at: @aholt_textiles
I have also started creating blog posts for the Craft Cotton Company to improve my sewing skills. My first post can be found here: https://www.craftcottonblog.co.uk/post/william-morris-shirt