From education to employment

Bradford College Fashion Design students among finalists for Yorkshire competition

To celebrate Wool Month 2022, Future Fashion Factory (FFF) hosted an exhibition of Yorkshire wool and textiles at Salts Mill in West Yorkshire. To mark the close of the exhibition, Future Fashion Factory held a prize-giving ceremony for students across the region, which was attended by competition judges, luxury fashion designers, Cunnington & Sanderson.

Cunnington & Sanderson said: 

It was a great pleasure for Cunnington & Sanderson to be invited by the Future Fashion Factory to guest judge this important competition inspired by the Yorkshire archives campaign for wool in wool month.

“Salts Mill was a perfect setting to celebrate the work of the next generation of fashion designers educated from the Yorkshire region. All the finalists showcased a great range of work from innovative design, beautiful illustrations to a strong narrative. We wish them all the very best in their future studies.

Competition entrants have been made up from the 60 fashion design students from the Yorkshire region, who attended the exhibition opening event. The students submitted images that reinterpreted and captured the exhibition in visual form, building on a heritage of excellence across textile and manufacturing within the region.

FFF invited Cunnington & Sanderson to judge and announce the winners, alongside a presentation of their own knotted woollen dress on a live model, which served to illustrate the relationship between contemporary design and Yorkshire textile mills as it exists today.

The 10 finalists included three students from Bradford College, with entries from Fashion Design students, Blandine Lum, Maimoona Darr, and Sumayyah Imran.

Future Fashion Factory’s Wool Month exhibition included garments from AW Hainsworth and loan pieces from the Yorkshire Fashion Archive. Showcasing Yorkshire textile and fashion manufacturing through the years, the exhibition serves as an insight into Yorkshire as both a centre of textile heritage and a champion of innovation. Personal histories are told through the archival garments on display, which reflect the lives of their donors. 

The exhibition demonstrates Yorkshire’s longstanding place within the world of luxury fashion, including pieces from designers such as Lee HurstCommes des Garcons and Thierry Mugler.

On display were a variety of historical garments and examples of luxury fashion. As a demonstration of the earliest form of coding used within the textile industry, there were a selection of jacquard punch-cards on display. Jacquard weave is still in use today, apparent across home décor textiles and as a fabric that affords fashion a level of bespoke and heritage value. Also in the exhibition, was a royal guard’s jacket, made from the iconic scarlet Hainsworth cloth.

Zoe Silver, Director of Salts Mill, said:

“We’re delighted to host the Future Fashion Factory x Wool Month exhibition here at Salts Mill in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire – a beautiful place that was built to create beautiful textiles.

“This exhibition is a great opportunity to celebrate the treasures of the Yorkshire Fashion Archive, to shine a light on the utterly superb wool textile production that goes on in Yorkshire today and to inspire the designers of the future with the exciting student competition.”

Professor Stephen Russell, Co-Director of Future Fashion Factory, said:

Future Fashion Factory supports creativity and innovation at every stage of the supply chain, bringing academics and companies together in collaboration, to ensure sustainable development and growth of the UK’s fashion and textile industry. 

This exhibition celebrates the rich history of innovative design and manufacturing in Yorkshire’s wool textile industry, which continues to thrive today with products that are internationally renowned for their aesthetics, quality and performance”.

Related Articles