Past and present students studying Fashion and Textiles with Shrewsbury Colleges Group have excelled at this year’s annual Textile Design Competition held by The Shrewsbury Drapers’ Company.


Becky Longland for website

Second year A Level student, Becky Longland, won the prestigious Jackie Ryan Memorial Award for her ‘Chinese Lion’ wall-hanging. This award has been won by an A Level Textiles student for all three years it’s ran and gives the victor an opportunity to complete a two week placement at Tweedmill Textiles in North Wales – one of the country’s leading tweed product manufacturers. Becky will design a pure wool throw that will be available for purchase as a limited edition item.

Former A Level students Katie Cutler, Emily Cooper and Niamh Hope were respectively awarded gold, silver and highly commended for their entries; with HNC Fashion & Textiles student, Nicola Riley, also gaining a highly commended award.

It wasn’t only the Fashion and Textiles students that put their designs forward this year – Level 2 Art & Design student, Izzy Hughes, entered ‘Holographic Dress’ and was rewarded with a highly commended award.

The annual textile design competition has been held by The Shrewsbury Drapers’ Company since 1995. It is a contest that is open to all Shropshire residents aged 16+ as of 1st September that year. This year’s entries were judged by Izzy Dryborough, a very experienced designer who has worked at Designers Guild, Gillian Farr and also been Head Designer at Laura Ashley. The theme “Oriental Journey” gave the entrants a broad subject to work with, full of historical and cultural inspiration.

Becky Longland, 19, from Wellington, said: “We were informed about the competition at College last year and I decided to make something especially for it over the summer holidays. It took a long time to create my applique and wool lion – but I had loads of fun doing it. It was lovely to see all the different entries and how people had responded to the theme when I went to the awards ceremony – that was followed by surprise and excitement when I heard I had won the Jackie Ryan Award. I am especially looking forward to my placement as I am hoping to do Textiles Design at university and this will really help with my personal statement.

“I enjoy studying A Level Textiles and it is the reason I decided to come to Shrewsbury Colleges Group. During Open Evening I fell in love with the Textiles studio – there was plenty of sewing machines, loads of fabrics to work with and previous students work covering the walls. My favourite technique that I’ve learnt is free-hand machine stitching – it is something I have used a lot in my work, including to create my lion.”

Helen Morgan, Art & Design Curriculum Leader, said: “The Drapers Competition continues to be hugely popular with our students. The college has always been very successful in winning awards in this Textile competition and this year has been no exception. The experienced and highly skilled specialist teachers here at the college provide outstanding experiences for our students which, in turn, enables them to achieve outstanding results. We are extremely proud of all our students and the hard work they put into their studies to achieve high quality creative work that makes their work so distinctive.”

To find out more about courses at Shrewsbury Colleges Group, come to an Open Evening on 8 November, from 5-8pm or call 01743 342441

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