New Designers: Worshipful Company of Weavers Prize Winners

IMG_6825The Worshipful Company of Weavers‘ prize for best woven fabrics at New Designers 2016 was awarded to Lydia Hiles from Manchester School of Art.

Lydia Hiles describes her work as: ‘captivated by methods of recording and storing information my intrigue into both the digital realm and the natural world has led to the development of a body of woven textile designs for fashion. I am particularly interested in adding a contemporary edge to traditional menswear fabrics by employing an innovative approach to colour, yarn, and structure.

Alongside my woven fabric designs I have also developed a trio of scarves commissioned for Flowers Gallery, London by the Michael Kidner trust. Inspired by the repeated undulating line motif of the column and wave works of Kidner the trio of woven lambswool scarves used his work as both a visual and conceptual catalyst. Taking particular interest in the themes of mathematics, chaos and wave theories I sought to capture the character of Michael Kidner’s artwork. I found that the scarf offered a unique canvas, in which composition and fabric qualities combined to create an exclusive piece of design for the gallery.”Angela Swan, a judge from The Worshipful Company of Weavers stated: Lydias’ work stood out for its simple aesthetic and beautifully woven quality.Her scarves have been on show at the Flowers Gallery where she sold to among others to their curator.

Prayer Rugs

Mariam Syed from Glasgow School of Art was awarded £800 towards setting up a business making prayer mats and head scarves for children in her community. She had a clear idea about her work which impressed the judges.

Mariam states ‘I graduated from the Glasgow School of Art with a BA (Hons) in Textile Design in June 2016. I am extremely passionate about weaving and can weave for hours on end. I immensely enjoy challenging myself to transfer my geometric drawings onto weave structures and then fusing the geometric patterns with my love of bold colours.

I have been fortunate to get a grant from the Worshipful Company of Weavers and intend to set up my own business selling rugs and silk scarves.

My work

My collection comprises of prayer rugs for children which are complemented by coordinating silk scarves and Quran covers. Muslim Children are introduced to the importance of praying at the age of seven. When my son turned seven, I wanted to present him with his own prayer rug. But after endless browsing, I realized that the prayer rugs available in the market were the traditional Persian rugs in dark colours and an image of the Kaaba or the Medina Mosque. To encourage my son to pray, I decided to design a prayer rug that was both exciting and engaging for a young child.

For inspiration I turned to the rich heritage of my ancestral homeland, Pakistan and focused on the visual culture of the city centre of Karachi. The exuberantly patterned trucks and buses set against the magnificent British architecture of the Colonial era formed the visual information for my primary resource and colour. My colour palette is an amalgamation of the vibrancy and richness of the trucks and the beigey neutral tones of the city buildings. To transfer my design ideas onto fabric, I used Double cloth weave construction as the interchanging of the two layers allows infinite design possibilities.

My collection is for mothers who want to present their young children with an exciting range of products to start their religious journey. My aim is to create a fusion of function and style that can be cherished and utilized as interior accessories in non-Muslim households as well.’

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