Textile design is the visual communication of fabrics and materials, realised through tactile processes that are both ancient and futuristic.
Underpinned by an innate understanding of colour, pattern and texture, Textile Designers are at the forefront of change, supporting innovations in fibre, yarn and material to create sustainable design outcomes.
Textile design plays an important role in fashion and interiors but is also at the cutting edge of a wide range of other design solutions such as architecture, automotive and bio-materials.
With sustainability and emerging technologies at the heart of contemporary design thinking, it is an exciting time for our students as the role of textiles is re-imagined across many aspects of modern life.
Our course teaches innovative, creative design explored through a wide range of materials. We see ‘textile’ as far more than cloth; it can be paper, plastic, wood, metal, even organic matter. Through the design process, you will be encouraged to consider a wide range of issues such as sustainability, cultural narratives, and a growing desire for sensory experiences in an increasingly virtual world.
Hear from graduates Jess and Dagmara
More about the course
Our future-facing course is rooted in textile heritage. We believe in engaging with the history and materiality of textiles whilst embracing cutting-edge design techniques. Textile design is integral to fashion, and also to many other creative applications from lighting to architecture.
With sustainability and emerging technologies at the heart of contemporary design, this is an exciting time as we re-imagine the role of textiles across many aspects of modern life.
On this course you will explore innovative design across a variety of materials: from cloth to paper, plastic, wood, metal and more. In the design process, you will be encouraged to consider a wide range of issues such as: cultural narratives, sustainability and the growing desire for tactility and sensory experience in an increasingly virtual world.
If you want to create materials that are innovative in form and function – you can here. You will explore a vast range of specialist textile processes, ranging from screen-printing to digital sublimation printing, and from hand weaving on a loom, through to digital electronic programming of stitch and 3D printing. Expert technical demonstrators will teach you new techniques and encourage you to experiment, test and play. You also have the opportunity to be inducted to other workshops such as photography, mould-making, 3D fabrication and more, as you discover how textiles can transcends its traditional origins.
You will develop excellent communication and collaboration skills by working on ‘Live’ projects – both internally, within HCA’s dynamic creative community and externally, with employers, galleries and design studios.
We encourage group discussions and hold regular peer-to-peer feedback sessions so that students can encourage and support each another. One-on-one tutor time means you get the individual help you need with a variety of projects. You could be working on anything from interior printed textile designs, to the fabrics and materials for a driverless car of the future!
Studying Textile Design at Hereford College of Arts offers individual workspaces throughout your studies, and extensive contact-time with an expert staff team who can share a wealth of industry experience through studio practice and workshops.
You can begin to raise your profile as an emerging designer by entering national competitions in the subject field. Our students have won many prizes for their standout project concepts including, first prize and highly commended at the Bradford Textile Award in the category of Sustainable design thinking, as well as the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters’ prize with a cash-sum and year’s mentorship from an industry specialist.
All students take Critical Studies, where you can gain fascinating insights into the subject you love. You will explore your specialism and the work of those you admire. We will help you to see your own practice in context with your peers and predecessors; leading to, not only a greater understanding the rich and varied practice of Textile Design, but who you want to be as a Textile Designer. The things you discover in Critical Studies will help you answer the question: where do I want to take my practice?
- Exceptional access to workshops across disciplines.
- A great level of individual support from tutors and technical demonstrators.
- The opportunity to learn from a range of industry experts with our high-profile external partners and visiting speakers.
- A pioneering new module exploring colour, material and finish, co-developed with the industry.
- Live briefs – giving you professional experience before your graduate and developed alongside design studios and brand head offices both locally, and nationally.
- The chance to have your work exhibited and sold across the globe at industry trade fairs such as Premier Vision in Paris and New York.
- The opportunity to explore topical issue such as sustainability and the transformational potential of textiles in contemporary design.
- Minimum age 18.
- Successful portfolio interview.
- Academic achievement – we would normally expect applicants to have achieved 80 UCAS Tariff Points at entry but, whilst qualifications are important, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We may make offers based on other evidence of talent and suitability for the course.
- 80 UCAS Points on the New UCAS Tariff system for 2017 equates to 200 UCAS points on the previous points system – for more details please see tariff explanation and advice on the UCAS website.
- Applicants whose first language is not English – proof of IELTS overall score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking) is required.
- Applications from mature students with relevant experience will also be considered.
- Recognition of Prior Learning Opportunities – the college welcomes applications from students with prior learning and/or previous experience. Further details on eligibility can be found on page 15 of our Admissions Policy.
- Alternatively, please contact us at email@example.com and we can offer further advice on HCA and the UWTSD awarding body requirements.
NB for Top-Up students different entry requirements apply – please see our Top-Ups application page for more information.
You will have the chance to learn from and work with a breadth of exciting external practitioners. Previous and current partnerships include: material research consultant and founder of Ma-tt-er Studio, Seetal Solanki (now a fellow of the HCA); surface pattern designer, Eve Campbell; a pioneer of ‘closed loop’ sustainable textile manufacturing, Kate Morris, the creator and designer of cruelty free vegan knitwear brand CROP; and Miles Johnson, previous creative director of global fashion brand Patagonia.
Throughout the course, you will work on live project briefs developed alongside design studios and brand head offices both locally, and nationally, often with the chance to have your work exhibited and sold across the globe at industry trade fairs such as Premier Vision in Paris and New York.
To date we have worked with the CMF Design team for Envisage Group, with a cash-prize and internship; Dash+Miller studio with work being taken on their New York Selling Trip; Sage Automotive to design a collection of fabrics and materials for Autonomous Drive Vehicles of the future.
New Designers is one of many highlights for our Textile Design students during their time on the course. Each year, the event provides graduates a platform to showcase their work to a global audience of industry and peers, as well as inspiring those considering a future in Art & Design education.
We are delighted that all of our graduates will be taking part in this year’s digital event which is truly a celebration of their hard work and dedication to their practice.
Through such uncertain times they have maintained creative and passionate and we are very proud to welcome you to view their New Designers online portfolio.
Your Creative Career
- Freelance Designer/Maker
- Interior Designer
- Fashion Designer
- Retail Buying
- Retail Merchandising
- Material Research & Development
- Garment Technician
- Product Development
- Gallery and Museum Curation
- Trend & Consumer Forecasting/Prediction
- Set Designer
- Fabric and Yarn Development (Working with Spinning Mills)
Many of our alumni go on to run successful freelance businesses, and others have gone on to work with employers such as: Mirjam Rouden, Laura Ashley, Lululemon, Roger Oates, Dash & Miller, Elspeth Gibson, Envisage CMF Design, Material Lab.
What’s really special about this course is the freedom to explore so many different mediums, say you had a particular interest in woodwork there would always be a way to tie that in to your work, you can really push the boundaries of what a ‘textile’ is, in fact this is encouraged! Having a tech dem on hand daily means if you want to find out about a new process or develop a new skill in an area you haven’t tried before you can.
I loved the feeling I got from the college as a whole. I felt very comfortable and at ease at HCA, compared to all the other bigger institutions I visited, which could be quite intimidating. I knew I wanted to do Textile Design; however, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to specialise in, or if I wanted to specialise at all. I liked that the Textile Design course at HCA was very broad and gave you the option to choose if, and when you want to specialise during the course.
New Designers 2021
View online portfolio
Textiles’ brings up so many images: many of us instantly think of a woman sat behind a sewing machine making curtains or clothing. However, most of that work as textile designers, this isn’t just the case. In fact it is a satisfying and rewarding job to do, which requires a huge amount of handiwork, maths and hint a physics.
What you will study
The first year focuses on textile processes as a foundation skill for this course. You will gain a thorough grounding in technique and begin research and exploration, creating a platform for an interdisciplinary and mixed media design practice.
The programme is based around studio and workshop-based projects that encourage creative thinking, experimentation and articulating your insights. Emphasis is placed upon the development of drawing, design and material skills. You will develop personal visual research, technical files and sketchbooks, to develop a reflective, analytical and evaluative approach to your practice
The second year moves into more explorative work, where your design identity can emerge. This year encourages students to focus and specialise in particular materials and processes. Students gain knowledge of materials in connection with their history and are encourage to combine new technologies with traditional approaches. You will have the opportunity to engage in live and research-led projects and professional work experience activities.
This final year provides you with the intellectual and creative space to fully realise your design ambitions. As a result, your work will become more self-directed. The year begins with a significant live brief and your focus is turned further towards employability.
Emphasis is placed on students’ ability to evaluate and make informed choices for selecting techniques and processes, and on creating innovative outcomes. Your work will become increasingly self-directed, to a professional level, as you produce a body of work for public exhibition.
Your practice will also be developed and informed by your extended research project: the dissertation or dissertation alternative.