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What I’ve enjoyed most about the course is the freedom given to pursue your own idea of textile design and what can be achieved within it. "The support given through the course has been great and you're really pushed to experiment and try new ideas.

More about Kayleigh

Before joining our MA Textile Design Innovation Masters degree, Kayleigh worked as womenswear buyer for an independent company in Cornwall. During the course, Kayleigh entered the prestigious Hand and Lock competition and was consequently announced as the winner of the Wilcom Digital Embroidery category.

What made you chose to study MA Textile Design Innovation? 
After graduating from my BA degree I didn’t feel like I had quite achieved everything that I had wanted to and after working for a few years the itch finally caught up with me. I’d become more fascinated with smart textile applications and where technology was going. I really wanted to have the time to dedicate to my passion and explore all the ideas I hadn't before. Doing a masters seemed like the perfect opportunity to do just this.

"Making the decision the quit my job wasn't easy, but I felt I wasn't being fulfilled creatively and doing a Masters would give me that freedom to be creative again. Also, the freedom of this course meant I would have the opportunity to develop the skills I wanted to with the support of the technicians and tutors.”

Can you tell us a little about your masters work?
“Through my masters I've been studying how traditional embroidery techniques and technology can be merged together to create innovative designs for the fashion market. For the technology aspect I've worked with digital embroidery, 3D printing, digital printing and smart textile applications.

"I've had interest in reactive textiles for some time so really wanted to explore them. I've looked at thermochromic, photochromic and phosphorescent pigments applying them in various ways to show how they could be used in a more commercial context.”

What are you hoping to do after graduation?
“After graduating, I'm quite open about what path to take next. I would love to work as a freelance designer for a fashion brand or textile studio but equally I'd also love the opportunity to work in-house as well.

"I've used this course to expand my skills as much as possible so that I could build a diverse portfolio of work. I've invested in specialist embroidery machinery over the years so I'm well equipped to work freelance and I like the idea of working on several different projects, so I’m currently leaning towards that option.”

What have you enjoyed most about your course?
“What I’ve enjoyed most about the course is the freedom given to pursue your own idea of textile design and what can be achieved within it.

"The support given through the course has been great and you're really pushed to experiment and try new ideas. Having access to such a wide range of equipment has allowed me to realise my ideas and I've tried to make the most of what's around me whilst I can. I've also really liked the studio environment it’s been great having your own creative space to come back to and being surrounded by creative people it’s hard not to feel inspired.”

What have you enjoyed about studying and living in Nottingham?
I'm originally from Nottingham but haven't lived here for a while, so it was nice to come back to somewhere I know. The city's arts culture has grown a lot since I was last here so there's always something going on for creatives.”

How have you found the Art & Design community within the University and in Nottingham?
“There's a large amount of creative students in Nottingham so there's always new work to see and people to meet. People seem quite open to talk about their work and wondering through some of the studios it’s really inspiring to see all the different work being created. Also, at the University as you share work shop space with students from different courses you get a glimpse into what they're working on – this is nice to see as everything is really diverse. The wider art and design community also seem really quite accepting of students, which is good and gives you the opportunity to make new contacts.”

Why would you recommend your course and the School of Art & Design?
“The course is perfect for someone who wants to dedicate their time to an idea that they want to pursue, with it being one long module you can set your own goals and achievements which makes it a really personal journey. There's also some great resources to use particularly for textiles and the opportunity to use other resources you perhaps hadn't considered before such as 3D printing.”

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