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.
Hear from BA (Hons) Textile Design student Mia Rowe about her work, which was on display at the Grayson Perry exhibition.
On this dynamic and well-structured course, you will be introduced to a wide-range of textile processes across the key technical areas of print, weave, knit and embroidery, whilst embracing both digital technologies and traditional craft skills. The exciting potential of cross-disciplinary practice is supported and encouraged. Our BA (Hons) Textile Design course is a dynamic and exciting degree for those wanting to work in the fields of textile design, fashion, interiors and product.
With creativity at the heart of learning, you will develop core design and technical skills whilst gaining vital professional and industry awareness. The course is brimming with opportunities to choose your own unique direction as a designer, and you will be supported by staff as you clarify and focus your personal interests.
You will work with an exciting team of external practitioners, currently featuring material research consultant and founder of Ma-tt-er studio, Seetal Solanki; surface pattern designer Eve Campbell; Kate Morris, creator and designer of cruelty free vegan knitwear brand CROP; and artisan woven and embroidered textile manufacturer, Alice Timmis.
Throughout the course, you will work on live briefs with local and national partners. You will have the chance to pitch your work to leading industry professionals, with numerous opportunities to see your work exhibited and sold locally, nationally and internationally. You can also use these connections to secure work experience as part of your ongoing Professional Practice, gaining and using employability skills as you start to plan for your future.
Studying with us will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and experiences required to succeed in a broad and diverse range of textile design related roles. By the end of your degree, you will have a clear vision of where you fit into the industry and a tailored professional portfolio to begin your journey as a professional.
Explore student work
Your Creative Career
Our graduates have been employed by companies in the following roles:
- Textile Designer for Fashion
- Textile Designer for Interiors
- Textile Designer for Automotive interiors
- Trend & Consumer Forecasting/Prediction
- Product Developer
- Fabric and Yarn Development (working with textile mills)
- Independent Designer-Maker
- Material Research & Development
- Social and Community Enterprise
- Freelance Designer
- Gallery/Museum Curator and Archivist
- Retail Merchandising & Buying
- Further Education: MA PhD’s and PGCE’s
For employers such as: Jaguar Land Rover, Mirjam Rouden, Laura Ashley, Lululemon, Roger Oates, Dash & Miller, Elspeth Gibson, Envisage CMF Design, Material Lab.
More about the course
Textile design is integral to fashion and interiors, and many other creative applications from lighting to architecture. We believe in engaging with the history and materiality of textiles whilst embracing cutting-edge design techniques.
If you want to create materials that are innovative in form and function – you can at HCA. 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 develop your skills in other workshops such as photography, mould-making, 3D fabrication and more.
On this course, you will explore innovative design in a variety of materials: from cloth to paper, plastic to wood, metal to soil and much more. In the design process, you will be encouraged to consider a wide range of issues such as sustainability, global cultural narratives, and the growing desire for sensory experiences in an increasingly virtual world.
You will develop excellent communication and collaboration skills by working on ‘Live’ projects – both internally, within HCA’s dynamic creative community and externally, with local and national 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 use in aerospace, electric cars and futuristic autonomous vehicles.
You will have an individual workspace 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 will be taught and nurtured by industry practitioners who have worked in the very industry you want to. Their careers are diverse including a fashion knitwear designer for the luxury and high street sectors; selling work at national and international trade shows (such as Premier Vision, Paris and Pitti Filati in Florence); working on installations with designer Lola Ley and alongside artists such as Yinka Shonibare, Annie Morris and the Chapman brothers. This work has been exhibited in commercial galleries such as Steven Freedman Gallery, Royal Academy, Soho House, ICA Boston USA, with many pieces now a part of private collections.
Meet our industry practitioners who will share their experience, develop your creativity, skills and technical capabilities within the field of traditional and contemporary textile design.
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 of 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 and New Designers.
- The opportunity to explore topical issue such as sustainability and the transformational potential of textiles in contemporary design.
- Career focused teaching is designed to support you in identifying professional aspirations from the breadth of opportunity within textile design, and help you to further tailor your learning and portfolio towards them.
- Our experienced and award-winning lecturers have extensive and broad insights to share with you, gained from key roles in industry or their experience working as practitioners.
- Module timescales are aligned with industry pace, to ensure our students are fully prepared to step into the world of work.
- A programme of visiting lecturers from around the world bringing cutting edge practice to HCA students.
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.
- Successful completion of a UK based level 5 qualification such as a Foundation Degree (FdA) or HND in a related subject (evidence of prior learning will need to be provided).
- Portfolio submission or audition (as applicable) and successful interview.
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.
Hear from one of our industry partners about their experience of working with HCA students and their journey of a textile design student to a CMF Designer.
Explore our videos
BA (Hons) Textile Design
On the Sofa with Course Leader Nick Thomas and students Jessica Childs and Dagmara Chwalik
New Designers 2021
View online portfolio
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.
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.