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Catherine Challender

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Fashion, knitwear and textile design


As a Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles course Cathy’s main role is knitwear design tutor. Working across all year groups, she teaches knitwear design development, including the creative and technical aspects of knitting and knitted garment construction. Cathy has extensive experience of working with final year students, supporting them through the challenges of developing and showcasing their final collections, via catwalk, exhibition and portfolio. Besides teaching, her role includes; organising catwalk shows, pastoral duties, and supervising students on industrial placement. Cathy also teaches knitting on the BA (Hons) Textile course and supervises post-graduate students on the MA Fashion Knitwear and MA Fashion and Textiles course and offers supervision to doctoral students.

Career overview

Following her MA in Textile Design at the Royal College of Art in 1989, Cathy combined part time lecturing in knitwear design at St Martins School of Art, and Trent Polytechnic, with a freelance knitwear design career. Cathy has designed knitwear and textiles for a broad range of clients including: View From International, British Rail, LWT, Abercrombie and Fitch, Macey’s, The Limited, Edina Ronay, McGeorge of Scotland, Kent and Curwen, and Willis & Geiger.

From 1993 Cathy has been a Senior Lecturer in Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles at Nottingham Trent University. She holds teaching qualifications; PGCE (Higher Education), PGDip Research Informed Teaching, (Dept. Social Sciences), and HEA Fellowship.  
In addition to her teaching Cathy has worked closely with regional manufacturers and museums to preserve and increase awareness of the regions knitting heritage.

Cathy also undertakes illustration commissions. Drawing is central to Cathy’s creative practice both in her own work and her teaching; to support this, she participates in research workshops and short courses in Contemporary Drawing.

Research areas

Cathy has a passion for vintage knitwear and her research interests are primarily archival, with particular regard to developing knitwear and hosiery collections. Her research, scholarly activity, and supervisions investigate how innovation can be supported through recovering and reworking lost knitting techniques.
Cathy is currently completing a book chapter ‘History and Context’ for Crowood Press.

Cathy has co-curated and exhibited her artwork in exhibitions centred on her archival research interest, including: Knit Nottingham 170 Years, Bonington Gallery 2014, and Stockings for a Queen: An Exhibition of Royal Hosiery. Bonington Gallery 2003

External activity

From 2001 to 2011 Cathy was a Trustee at Ruddington Framework Knitters' Museum and is currently a Livery Member of the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters.

Sponsors and collaborators

  • John Smedley
  • G H Hurt and Son
  • Ruddington Framework Knitters’ Museum
  • The Museum of Costume and Textiles Nottingham

Course(s) I teach on

  • Postgraduate taught | Full-time | 2019

  • Postgraduate taught | Full-time | 2019

  • Undergraduate | Full-time | 2019