"Our Textiles Stories"

"Our Textiles Stories"

Fri 29th April, 2016 by Peepul Enterprise

A group of students on the first year of Loughborough University's "Textiles: Innovation and Design" degree have been selected to participate in an ambitious collaborative project with Loughborough based arts organisation Charnwood Arts entitled 'Our Textiles Stories'.

The project aims to build on the success of "Our Knitted Story", a previous collaboration between Charnwood Arts and the University, which was co-ordinated by Sarah Green, aka 'Super Crochet Girl' (current PhD student at Loughborough University) and Jemma Bagley (Charnwood Arts Community Arts Development Co-ordinator), who served as project leader.

'Our Knitted Story' saw the Charnwood Arts Big Knitting Group work with other organisations and groups to capture the personal histories of hand-crafting and to bring together stories and memories of knitting, crocheting and other textile based activities from the local community. After nearly a year of preparations, the project culminated in an exhibition at Charnwood Museum in 2015.

For 'Our Textiles Stories', Sarah and Jemma have worked closely with Kerry Walton (Programme Director for Textiles: Innovation and Design) and Kerri Akiwowo (Textiles Lecturer) to develop a brief, which can be incorporated into the programme of study.

The aim was to create a set of work exploring the history that each individual student has with textiles. What were their earliest memories? What influenced them in their formative years that led them to choosing textile design as a career?

All students enrolled on the degree were asked to create such a set of work and from these, a select few have been chosen for participation in the project.

The results of all their hard work will be exhibited at Peepul Enterprise, Orchardson Avenue, Leicester from April 22nd to May 23rd 2016 and the participants will be given opportunities for more in-depth involvement, such as taking part in curating, organising, and promoting the event.

In this way, the collaboration aims to encourage the students' professional development, as well as giving them experience in creating work to a brief designed for exhibition rather than solely for academic grading.

So far, the project has been going fantastically well, and all those involved hope to make it a regular element of the Textiles programme at Loughborough University.

As part of their involvement in the project, some of the students have also created a blog featuring images of the work they are producing and insights into their inspirations and processes - this can be found at

For further details, contact Jemma Bagley at Charnwood Arts on 01509-822558 or by e-mail at


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