Alexandra Holt – Visage Textiles

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:

You’re Invited!

Join us for a FREE online workshop at the end of each month to explore Textile Processes and discover where Textiles can take you! We’re kicking things off on Wednesday 29th September 2021 where we’ll explore Experimental Embroidery with Textile Artist & Educator, Elnaz Yazdani. (Follow link for details)

Hud Graduates 2020

We are excited to launch our online profile for the 2020 graduates. We are extremely proud of them and could not ask for harder working students. This showcase demonstrates the diversity of our students.

Tanya Granaghan – Lasting Operative at Dr Martens.

Tanya graduated from the Textiles Practice course in 2018. She has completed an Apprentership at Dr. Martens

“Dr. Martens run a yearly apprentice to get younger people into shoe manufacturing, I got to learn all stages of the process over the year. Cutting and inspection of the leather, closing of the uppers, lasting the boots/shoes and attaching the sole and inspecting, cleaning and boxing the boots in the shoe room. After finishing my apprentice I have specialised as a Lasting Operative and have learnt many of jobs within the Lasting Room! My favourite is side lasting, which is attaching the side of the leather upper to the insole of the shoe with a machine that staples the two together. I feel like learning the process from start to finish over the year really helped me in my role now and I feel like an important part of the production line.”

“I love seeing a product that I’m passionate about and worn my entire life being carefully crafted by my friends around me. I’m glad to be part of the shoe industry in UK as there isn’t many factories left. My degree helped me realise that I wanted to work with my hands in a making environment and this role fits perfectly”

It is wonderful to see the diversity in careers which our students progress into and we look forward to sharing more stories from our textiles Alumni family.

You can follow Tanya on instagram @tanyastextiles_

You can also see Tanya on BBC’s Inside the Factory here