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MA Textile Design Innovation graduate wins Wilcom Digital Embroidery Award at 2017 Hand and Lock Awards

Kayleigh Mace scooped first place in the Student Fashion Category for her garment which showcased her command of design and embroidery

Kayleigh Mace at the Mastered postgraduate exhibition
Kayleigh Mace at the MA Degree Show 2017

A recent graduate from the MA Textile Design Innovation course at NTU has won an award at the prestigious Hand & Lock Awards. Kayleigh Mace was named winner of the Student Fashion Category of the Wilcom Digital Embroidery Awards for her standout dress design.

The finished garment, featuring meshing, leaves patterns and fringing, showcased her ability to produce a commercial design from artwork using a skillful combination of hand, machine and digital embroidery.

Kayleigh recently completed her MA in Textile Design Innovation, for which she received a Distinction. During her studies she explored how traditional embroidery techniques can be used with modern technology to create innovative designs. As a part of this she investigated how smart textile applications, e-textiles and 3D printing can be used alongside a range of embellishment techniques. From this she has developed a wider skill set for creating her designs including tambour beading, goldwork and using specialised Wilcom software for digital embroidery.

In the Student Fashion Category, judges were looking for strength of concept, execution, construction, embroidery skill and overall presentation. Kayleigh explained: “I decided to enter the Wilcom Fashion Category as I had been using the software a lot in my work, and knew it would be a good opportunity to translate my designs into a garment. My design looked at celebrating traditional motifs and embroidery techniques using technology to create a garment full of movement and hidden details.”

Detail of Kayleigh's MA project
Detail of Kayleigh's work

She continued: “I was thrilled to be selected as finalist in the Wilcom Fashion Category. The competition receives thousands of entries, so to be selected as a finalist was an amazing achievement in itself and as an embroidery student, it is the pinnacle of recognition for your skills. At that stage I was also assigned an industry mentor, Carol Alayne, who has over 30 years’ experience in tailoring and haute couture. Her help and guidance were invaluable, along with the amazing help I received from staff at NTU.”

When asked how it felt to be named winner, Kayleigh was thrilled: “The experience was amazing, being able to talk to so many different people about my work and explain the process and ideas behind it. I can't describe the feeling of being announced as the winner, it's been a personal goal of mine to win a Hand & Lock award and I couldn't quite believe it when they called my name!”

She continued: “I love using Wilcom and to now know I'll be receiving sponsorship from them is amazing and means I can continue to push with my ideas and what can be achieved through digital embroidery. I can't thank everyone who's helped me enough, without the help and support I've received I wouldn't be where I am now.”

The Hand & Lock Awards runs annually, and exists to promote the use of hand embroidered surface embellishment within the fashion, costume and textile industries. They provide artists, students, practitioners and enthusiasts with a platform to connect with other industry bodies; in turn gaining exposure, improving embroidery techniques and keeping the tradition moving forward in the modern world.

MA Textile Design Innovation graduate wins Wilcom Digital Embroidery Award at 2017 Hand and Lock Awards

Published on 9 November 2017
  • Category: Culture; School of Art & Design

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