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We are thrilled to announce the winners of our STUDENT TEXTILES ARTIST COMPETITION 2024.

This year we were overwhelmed at the response, receiving over 600 entries this year!! Literally the inbox broke!!!

The judges said they were astonished at the quality of the work they had to choose from, one saying:  ‘All of the entries were wonderful; it was so difficult to choose! Please let all of the finalists know I’m very, very proud that we have such amazing talent emerging in the world of textiles today,’ Jon Dunn-Ballam

This year’s competition was sponsored by JANOME UK & IRELAND Sewing Machines and DRYAD EDUCATION (formerly Specialist Crafts/Heart Education).

JANOME UK have kindly given a 725S sewing machine for each of the 2 winners.

DRYAD EDUCATION (formerly Specialist Crafts/Heart Education) are giving a £50 voucher to the 2 winners teachers  and a goody bag to the first 3 places in each category.

Each winner will also receive a TEXTILES SKILLS CENTRE TROPHY and each teacher will get a free online TSC course.

Janome UK –  Deborah Shepherd, Creative Director
Dryad Education –  Fleur Neal, Head of Sales and Marketing
Jon Dunn-Ballam –  Textile Artist
Sally Denton –  Executive director at the University of Lincoln
Nikki Parmenter –  Textile Artist

And our amazing student winners are:

KS 5 / A Level Category:

1st   Place:  GEORGIA DONE  –  Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College, Cheshire
Teacher:  Emma Johnson
2nd Place:  AMY WHITE  –  Sir John Deane’s Sixth Form College, Cheshire
Teacher:  Emma Johnson
Joint 3rd Place:   SEVVAL ALMACA  –  The Worthgate School, Canterbury
Teacher:  Sarah Jane Mulcahy
Joint 3rd Place:   JACK BETTEY  –  The Highfield School, Hertfordshire
Teacher:  Cara Burnham


KS 4 / GCSE Category:

1st Place:  NEVE SCOTT  –  Boston Spa Academy, Leeds
Teacher:  Gemma Hibbard
2nd Place: WILF BLACKMORE –  Bristol Cathedral Choir School
Teacher:  Eve Walmsley
3rd Place:  CARA BAILEY  – Bristol Cathedral Choir School
Teacher:  Eve Walmsley



Highly Commendable students that reached the final selection in each category. There were many other highly commended students, as we had so many great entries.
KS5 / A LEVEL  Highly Commended Final Selection 
ARTIST Myla Heather-Frost & TEACHER Ashleigh Lynch from Peterborough
ARTIST Hakima Sabri & TEACHER Sarah Jane Mulcahy from Canterbury
ARTIST Clodagh Bekusch & TEACHER Leah Holliday from Jersey
ARTIST Yeva Revenko & TEACHER Sarah Jane Mulcahy from Canterbury
ARTIST Elsa Van Der Horst & TEACHER Sharon Porteous Parton from Shrewsbury
ARTIST Rosa Wood  & TEACHER Sharon Porteous Parton from Shrewsbury
ARTIST Marysa Robinson & TEACHER Leah Holliday from Jersey
ARTIST Connie White & TEACHER Shana Leather from Hampshire
ARTIST Bethany Saunders & TEACHER Sophia Wrona from Swindon
KS4 / GCSE  Highly Commended Final Selection
ARTIST Emma Drinkwater & TEACHER Eve Walmsley from Bristol
ARTIST Hannah Thomas & TEACHER Gemma Curtin from Surrey
ARTIST Emily Green & TEACHER Abi Wakeham-Thomas from Wiltshire
ARTIST Ursula Jeffery & TEACHER Abi Wakeham-Thomas from Wiltshire
ARTIST Lily Mackenzie & TEACHER Sarah McCullagh from Oxford
ARTIST Grace Thresher & TEACHER Abi Wakeham-Thomas from Wiltshire
ARTIST Alice Turner & TEACHER Sophia Wrona from Swindon
ARTIST Myla Heather-Frost & TEACHER Ashleigh Lynch from Peterborough
ARTIST Hakima Sabri & TEACHER Sarah Jane Mulcahy from Canterbury
ARTIST Clodagh Bekusch & TEACHER Leah Holliday from Jersey
ARTIST Yeva Revenko & TEACHER Sarah Jane Mulcahy from Canterbury
ARTIST Elsa Van Der Horst & TEACHER Sharon Porteous Parton from Shrewsbury
ARTIST Rosa Wood  & TEACHER Sharon Porteous Parton from Shrewsbury
ARTIST Marysa Robinson & TEACHER Leah Holliday from Jersey
ARTIST Connie White & TEACHER Shana Leather from Hampshire
ARTIST Bethany Saunders & TEACHER Sophia Wrona from Swindon



7 MARCH 2024

The survey and report were designed, collated, and written by Dawn Foxall and Roy Ballam.

Unravelling the fabric of Textiles Education – Where Next?

As the landscape of education continues to evolve, the Textiles Skills Centre unveils its latest report, Unravelling the Fabric of Textiles Education – Where next? shedding light on the current status and potential future direction of textiles education in schools.

Since 2014, textiles education has primarily been taught within Design and Technology (D&T) in the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 to 3. However, recent trends indicate a shift towards teaching textiles through Art & Design, and more generally there have been raising concerns about the diminishing status of textiles education.

Through research encompassing expert groups, surveys, and stakeholder engagement, the Textiles Skills Centre sought to gauge the pulse of textiles education. Key findings reveal a demand for updated subject content, clearer progression pathways, and a reinvigorated promotion of the value of textiles education.

To read the full report:

What’s happening now?
  • Primary school pupils get around 30 hours of textiles education over six years.
  • Secondary schools allocate 53 hours (on average) for textiles over Key Stage 3.
  • Pupils express a keen interest in textiles lessons and desire more engagement.
  • There a change happening at GCSE level, with a shift from D&T to Art & Design.
What would teachers and pupils like in the future?
  • Keep textiles in D&T at Key Stage 1 to 3.
  • Update subject content, delivery, and timetabling, showing clear progression.
  • Make textiles at GCSE more relevant and specific.
  • Define and promote the value of textiles education.

Recommendations for the future

Based on the work with schools, as well as discussions with experts, the Textiles Skills Centre recommends:

  1. Conduct a deep dive into primary textiles: Gather information on the teaching of textiles at KS1 and 2 in UK primary schools.
  2. Consult on secondary content and teaching approaches: With the textiles teaching community, seek to outline core content for textiles, with assessment strategies, appropriate teaching strategies, and the strengths and weaknesses of different timetabling models.
  3. Develop a clear understanding of textiles education: With a cross-section of stakeholders, develop a clear understanding of the rationale, purpose, and content of textiles education. Showcase what it comprises, showing breadth of coverage, with pedagogical, technological, cultural and sustainability aspects.
  4. Discuss GCSE options: Teacher feedback and pupil voice should be acknowledged, with the acceptance of the practical challenges ahead of any change. Any GCSE offer, whether changes to current specifications or development of new specifications, needs to be discussed with all stakeholders, including Awarding Organisations, higher education, and employers.
  5. Ensure teacher subject knowledge: Based on having a clear understanding of textiles education from 5-16 years (see recommendation 3), CPD needs to be offered to support primary and secondary teachers embracing any change, as well as being competent with subject content.
  6. Promote textiles education: Develop a promotional campaign to highlight the rationale, benefits, and value of textiles education in schools.


Dawn Foxall, Founder of the Textiles Skills Centre said:

“It is without doubt that if we lose textiles as a subject in our schools, we lose life skills we didn’t know we needed. We lose the ability to create, make and discover the techniques required to make something unique; make mistakes and realise new methods and ideas; practice fine motor skills and dexterity needed for sewing up a wound or working with fine tools; applications of maths and science to develop new fibres and fabrics to support sports, medicine and space; the patience and persistence to follow a project through to an end product; an undeniable aid to supporting mental health; understanding climate change and the circular economy; the need to reduce the amount of textiles going to landfill (300,000 tonnes per year in the UK), by becoming more confident in repair, recycle and reuse of clothing and textile items… We can’t lose textiles in our education system.”

Unravelling the Fabric of Textiles Education – Where Next? presents a roadmap for revitalizing textiles education, ensuring its continued relevance and prominence in the UK educational landscape.

The Textiles Skills Centre would like to thank the All Saints Educational Trust for the educational grant to undertake this work.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Dawn Foxall, Founder, Textiles Skills Centre info@textileskillscentre.com

Textiles Skills centre - Research Report - Unravelling The Fabric Of Textiles Education Image

African Fashion @ The V&A

African Fashion @ The V&A

V&A Exhibition of African Fashion Design
African Fashion Exhibition @ The V&A

Julia Burrows August 2022

“Contemporary fashion creatives are shifting the geography of global fashion the vitality of the scene is irrepressible, its creativity limitless. Now, Africa fashion shares a glimpse of the glamour and politics of this influential scene that always changing always resisting definition “        V&A Museum, London

On route to our Textile Skills Centre Associate’s AGM, Dawn and I took time out to visit our favourite Museum the V&A. Having grown up in South Africa, I was particularly keen to see the exhibition on African fashion.

What are the first words that pop in to your head when you think of African fashion? For me it would be colour and diversity, this exhibition bid not disappoint.

Africa is a large continent with various cultures.  It is approxmately 5,000 miles from North to South and 4,600 miles from East to West, made up of 55 countries, where some have more than one historical traditional costume and cultural past. Understandably, this exhibition cannot cover it all and which it has not attempted to do. The exhibition touches on the history, but dominantly celebrates African design and designers.


V&A African Fashion History

Ghana, Central West Africa

V&A Africa Exhibition article

KwaZulu Natale, East Coast South Africa

V&A African Fashion Exhibition image

Morocco, North Africa

V&A African Fashion Exhibition images

Namibia, South West Africa









1960 was the year of Africa. Over seventeen countries rid themselves of colonial rule and new sense of pride in being African played out through literature, music, art and fashion. The radical social and political reordering galvanised decades”   V&A Museum, London


Imane Ayissi, AW19 collection

A shocking pink raffia garment by Imane Ayssi(2019), set the tone of the exhibition as you enter, followed by a brief history of African textiles.



V&A African Fashion Exhibition Shade Thomas Fahm

Shade Thomas Fahm. Considered Africa’s 1st ‘Fashion Designer’








Here you also see the work of Shade Thomas Fahm, a St Martins graduate in the 1950s, who is seen as Nigeria’s 1st fashion designer.


The 2nd floor of exhibition celebrates the new African contemporary designers.   Starting with the minimalist designs of Rwandan Brand Mmusomaxwell.  It shows pleat fronted suiting and simple structured dress with an example of the pattern plate used for the print.

A colourful and playful combination of fabrics is a strong visual language of African fashion which can be seen under the heading Mixologist.

V&A African Fashion designer Kofi Ansah

Kofi Ansah, for wedding of Ashley Shaw-Scott Adjaye and David Adjaye. Ghana, 2014

African Fashion - V&A

Printing plate and fabrics

Mmusomaxwell, Rwandan Designer












African Fashion - African Fashion - Selly Raby Kane

Selly Raby Kane 2017





There is a lot to see in this exhibition and my personal favourite is the multi coloured dress that for me captured Africa. From Dakar, by Selly Raby Kane from her 2017 collection.










African Fashion V&A African Fashion V&A museum exhibition  










Africa Fashion means the past, the future and the present at the same time. The joy of life and the joy of colour is completely different and very particular to the continent. It’s a language of heritage, it’s a language of DNA, it’s a language of memories.’   Artsi, Fashion Designer, Maison ArtC

The exhibition also celebrates the politics and poetics of cloth, through moments of political importance in the country.

The significance of how the making and wearing of particular cloths in the moment of independence became a strategic political act. Indigenous fabrics and crafts such as wax prints, commemorative cloths, àdìrẹ, kente and bògòlanfini are examples of a rich textile history from across the continent. The commemorative cloth made in the early 1990s following the release of Nelson Mandela, is featured showing a portrait of the soon-to-be first Black President of South Africa with the words:


Nelson Mandela textile - African Fashion

V&A Gucci statement












I left the collection of talented and interesting designs, inspired and hoping the V&A Museum would bring us more from this often forgotten continent.

The Exhibition run until 16 April 2023 and cost £16.
Book tickets to see Africa Fashion from 2 July 2022 – 16 April 2023.

Arts @ St. George’s

Arts @ St. George’s

Arts week @ St. George’s 2022

Nicky Simpson – Course Leader: Textiles Skills Centre

Art Week @ St. George's Hospital

2022, marks Nicky Simpson’s second year working with the team at Arts St. George’s. Alongside St. George’s Hospital Charity, Arts St. George’s create opportunities for patients, families, staff and the wider community to engage in creative activities and enjoy cultural experiences, helping improve the experience of being in hospital.

July 2022 marked St. George’s Arts Week and Nicky was lucky enough to get the opportunity to work with the team once again. This year’s theme was ‘togetherness’ and Nicky embraced this with a visual arts collective workshop; botanical banner making, something she had only practiced recently.

Working in the busy front entrance courtyard of St. George’s Hospital in Tooting, in the beautiful sunshine, Nicky set up her heat press and it was not long before the banners started to fill up.

Making textile art Nicky was really pleased to see the workshop act as a way to bring ‘together’ and unite the hospital community – patients, visitors and staff, meeting so many amazing people throughout the 2 workshop days, and they all had a story to tell.

Working with a heat press





‘I loved seeing everyone’s faces light up when they realised they could create something beautiful, so easily and so quickly. They all particularly enjoyed the fact that they had been part of an artwork collective, a new idea to most!’

Five banners were created over the 2 days, and these were used as a backdrop throughout the rest of St. George’s Arts Week on the community stage where other forms of art, music and dance were enjoyed.










Grace Lindley, Arts Coordinator at St. George’s Hospital Charity said:  “We are so grateful to Nicky for leading these incredible workshops. The collective banner marking was especially fitting with our theme of togetherness. Overall, it was a brilliant week, which used arts and creativity to celebrate and highlight the interconnectivity of our hospital community, and how we support each other, day in, day out, at St George’s.”







Benedict Johnson Photography


Future Sustainable Fashion Solutions

Future Sustainable Fashion Solutions

Future Fashion Solutions image
Future Sustainable Fashion Solutions

Dawn Foxall – Textiles Skills Centre, May 2022


“If you want to really learn textile and fashion skills and experience garment manufacturing in the UK, then come to Fashion Enter – this is now the ONLY place to visit and learn. We run regular school visits whereby we encourage students and pupils to have a go at the very latest technologies, both in print and manufacturing. It’s time to stop that negativity towards speed of response fashion!’ Jenny Holloway, CEO Fashion Enter Ltd.


Post covid and 2 years of PPE making, the fashion and textiles industry is back on track to push the climate change issue that is the elephant in the room of clothing manufacture.

The biggest problem is decades of fast fashion which has ingrained in our psyche, making clothes shopping a habit that needs kicking.

Perhaps this post covid recession and the onset of higher energy prices, will start to alleviate the stigma of not having a new top every time we go out, and instilling some real urgency from the industry into find new ways of more sustainable and less energy use in manufacturing.

Technology is definitely showing us the way, with ideas that began their infancy in the 1990’s. Innovative methods of manufacturing now include on-demand digital fashion and textile production technologies from companies such as a worldwide market leader Kornit Digital Ltd.

Watch video: https://vimeo.com/680325879

Kornit Digital recently joined forces with Fashion-Enter Ltd – a social enterprise in North London, which has manufacturing and an academy on-site – and announced a first-of-its-kind Fashtech Innovation Centre in London.

Kornit Fashion printing image

Aiming to bring on-demand fashion and textile mass customisation back to the UK, the Centre is fully supported by Kornit Digital’s revolutionary, direct-to-fabric and direct-to-garment digital production solutions.

30% of textile manufacturing is attributed to overproduction and 95% to water waste, Kornit’s technologies are transforming the industry with more efficient and sustainable processes. The Company’s systems boasting up to 95% less water, 94% less energy and 83% less greenhouse gas emissions, minimising the carbon footprint.




The systems in place at FashTec Centre include direct-to-fabric and direct-to-garment systems, as well as numerous graphic design and workflow tools to enable cut-and-sew operations. These machines enable a designer to print their chosen artwork/designs either as fabric, or a placement print, such as T-shirt printing and have the garments cut and manufactured on-site.

The Centre now serves as a prototype for brands and designers seeking to alleviate logistical complexities and long lead times, by bringing production nearer to the end consumer. This will ultimately eliminate overproduction, with the ability to produce on demand, contribute to local economies and remove transport-related waste.

Digital Printed Fashion Clothing image

“This Innovation Centre makes it possible to capture the full, end-to-end production process in one, single location. The beauty of having print on demand means there are no minimums, so we can make one garment, or we can make up to 30,000 garments a week from all locations at the same fixed cost. Here, we can also train future generations on the right way of producing garments for today, responsive to demand, with minimal waste—ethical and sustainable. This is the future of fashion and textiles.” 
Jenny Holloway, CEO, Fashion-Enter. 

If you’re interested in scheduling a visit to the Fashtec Centre located on

Crusader Estate, 167 Hermitage Road, London
N4 1LZ, please contact: education@fashioncapital.co.uk
https://fcfta.com     http://www.fashion-enter.com


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