Megan Hilliard New Designers 2019 Winner

Megan combines traditional with contemporary processes for an Artisanal feel

I’ve always known I wanted to work within a creative field but didn’t focus on Textiles until my foundation course. The University of Loughborough is where I was given the opportunity to explore a multitude of techniques and design disciplines. I’m interested in combining the use of traditional and contemporary processes, which has since become the foundations of my design style.

Initially focusing on print and some hand embroidery, I decided in my second year that I wanted to expand my knowledge of digital technologies and consequently made my degree specialism IDP (Integrated digital practices).

Once introduced to Wilcom and the machinery in the embroidery studio, I completely fell in love.

The process and endless possibility of effects created using EmbroideryStudio were truly unexpected. The breadth of opportunities for creating innovative surfaces and designs is limitless.

Before gaining access to EmbroideryStudio, I had a somewhat tainted view of the process, seeing digital embroidery as being something saved purely for commercial use in creating graphic badges and logos. After the first few introductory sessions, I was completely hooked! Bee King, who runs the digital embroidery suite at Loughborough, was always encouraging us to experiment with unconventional materials and processes, which created a really exciting and inspiring environment.

Having just graduated in July, I am currently undertaking an internship with Aiveen Daly, a company specializing in bespoke textile commissions for an interior context. I continue to learn and build on my skills in both business and craft while working on my design work and building my portfolio. 

I’m heading to Morocco in 2 weeks
so I will be bringing a sketchbook and camera with me to
gather material for my next collection!

I’d love to eventually have my own machines and studio offering luxury interior products such as embroidered faux fur rugs, throws, and cushions. 

I felt I only just scratched the surface during my degree, and was gutted to be leaving the University facilities. I was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to develop my process in creating a handcrafted finish using digital technology. 

I have a highly experimental and hands-on approach to embroidery, which requires a lot of sampling to achieve the result required. My process almost always starts with a photograph or painting. I use Wilcom to develop a small sample design which I stitch out to see and feel the end product. I then experiment altering the stitch densities, composition, and use of underlays, until I create the look and texture I desire.

I love the effect of embroidering onto faux fur, and the layering of upholstery foam underneath the fabric creates an interesting relief…

This is something I will continue to develop and expand within my Artisanal style.

Written by Megan Hilliard
Winner of New Designers Wilcom Associate Prize 2019

Loughborough University

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *