BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Knit

This undergraduate knitwear course will help you become a creative designer for fashion textiles through the specialist pathway of knitwear.

Model with blonde hair wearing knitwear by Natalie Hitchon
Photography: James Rees, Creative Direction: Rob Phillips, Hair: Ezana Ove, Make-up: Kirsty Gaston

Natalie Hitchon, 2014 - view Showtime profile; in collaboration with Textiles Embroidery student Harriett Brown.

Girl in blue knit dress
Hattie Buzzard, 2014
Three images of models in knitwear by Josephine Cowell in black and white.

Josephine Cowell, 2015 - view Showtime profile.

Girl in pink knitted dress.
Emily Carter
Model in bright knits and earrings.
Mao-Tsen Chang, 2014.

Mao Tsen Chang, 2014 - view Showtime profile.

Model's back wearing semi transparent knit.
Shasha Wong, 2014.

Shasha Wong, 2014 - view Showtime profile.

Funding opportunities

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Use UAL’s scholarships search to find out what you might be eligible for.

Facts

Course Leader

Laura Bell

Course Location

Lime Grove

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (tbc for 2017/18)

International Fee

£17,230 per year (tbc for 2017/18)

Autumn Term Dates25 Sep - 8 Dec 2017 (tbc)
Spring Term Dates8 Jan - 16 Mar 2018 (tbc)
Summer Term Dates16 April - 22 June 2018 (tbc)
Application Route

UCAS

Application DeadlineApplications for 2016/17 entry are now closed. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS Code0I88
University CodeU65

Content and structure

The BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Knit course is situated in the School of Design and Technology and is for students who want to be innovative textile designers for the fashion industry. Textiles demand an inventive approach to design and realisation, and this course focuses on creative approaches to the development and realisation of contemporary fashion textiles. We believe that technology and skills inform the design process and foster creativity.

You will be able to explore surface pattern and texture for fashion fabrics through knitted structures. You will investigate and experiment with the construction of knitted fabrics, producing knit textile samples and/or knitwear for the contemporary fashion market. You will learn how to use domestic and industrial knitting machines and digital knit technology, and you will learn about related textile processes which will extend your potential for creative design.

Through learning skills, applying technology and developing your individual creativity you will become an innovative and original textile designer able to design for international markets ranging from high street to couture. The course will develop your skills in research, drawing, design development and presentation, fashion textile development and manufacture, 3D awareness, fashion textile forecasting and trend development, market analysis, and awareness of forward thinking textile and fashion concerns such as sustainability and ethical issues.

The course is fashion focused with opportunities to experiment, apply and inspire technical, creative collaborations across courses including pattern cutter, menswear and womenswear students in the 3D realisation of your textile designs. This collaborative practice is established through appropriate sponsored projects and cross course partnerships in the first and second years of the course and may lead to collaborations where final year textile students and final year fashion students work together to produce a complete textile and fashion product range.

During the course you will undertake a range of projects, many of which are in conjunction with specific labels or companies, or are for a particular sector of the market. This wider involvement with industry and society is invaluable to your development as a designer, as is the opportunity to enter national design competitions and take part in collaborations across the College on specific external projects. The short work placement will enable you to experience the reality of working within a particular company, together with the chance to make useful contacts for your future career.

Fashion textile students participate in international competitions, winning awards with annual textile competitions such as Texprint, Hand and Lock - as well as fashion competitions such as FAD with Fashion Scout at London Fashion Week and Diversity NOW competition with I-D Magazine. Our students continue to receive press across a wide range of international publications including Dazed & Confused, Vogue, I-D, and Wonderland.

Echoing the focus on drawing on the course, students have also won awards at the Nina De Yorke Scholarship Award for Illustration, DRAW FASHION awards and CASS ART illustration competitions.

Recent Fashion Textiles graduate Moe Takahashi won the Orly Tenzer Textile Award prize at Vauxhall Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week, as part of the FAD Competition.

Recent accolades have seen LCF BA Fashion Textiles student Elizabeth Ranson win the prestigious Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters Award for her advocate of natural dyes and sustainability in her final year work and Fashion Textiles graduate Emily Grieves winning the Society of Dyers and Colourists London.

BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Knit is based at Lime Grove in Shepherd’s Bush, just west of Holland Park and Notting Hill. The area, which is rich in cultural influences from across the world, is home to Shepherd’s Bush Market and the many fabric shops lining the Goldhawk Road, which sell a good variety of fabrics, including silks, at extremely competitive prices. There are many restaurants, cafes, delis and food stores, as well as the market, which reflect the many cultures of the people living there. Nearby is the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, an excellent venue for live bands, and the Westfield Shopping Centre, one of the largest retail complexes in Europe. Holland Park with its Orangery and Leighton House Museum are both worth visiting.

Students on this course might be invited to participate in study trips. This may involve, for example, visits to key areas of capital cities, factories, stores and museums. Attendance on these trips is not compulsory but recommended. Details regarding timings and costs will be issued closer to the relevant trips.

Course Structure

Year One  -  Stage One  -  level 4  -  120 credits 

Term One: Introduction to Study in Higher Education: Fashion Textiles (20 credits); Design and Technical Process (20 credits)

Term Two: Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Creative Context (20 credits)

Term Three: Introduction to Industry Practice (40 credits)

 

Year Two  -  Stage Two  -  level 5  -  120 credits

Term One: Cultural and Historical Studies (20 credits); Future Craft (20 credits)

Term Two (or Three): Research Methods (20 credits); Designer Identity (20 credits)

Term Three (or Two): Work Experience and Professional Studies (40 credits)

 

Year Three  -  Stage Three  -  level 6  -  120 credits

Term One: Design Synthesis (20 credits)

Terms One Two and Three: Contextualising Your Practice (60 credits)

Terms Two and Three: Final Major Project (40 credits)

Travelling across London

The renowned London College of Fashion library is at our John Prince’s Street site, and you will need to travel to this site, and possibly others, during your course to use the library, which is open seven days a week in term time, and for tuition and special events.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.

Staff

Resources

Our excellent resources for educating our students are two-fold: people and premises. People includes everyone at the College who contributes directly in some way to your education, whether as a subject tutor, a technician, an Open Access officer, a librarian or a study support tutor. Premises include the buildings and the facilities contained in them, such as specialist machinery, design studios and workshops, lecture and seminar rooms, and the library.

The textile workshops at Lime Grove for the three fashion textile courses are excellent and contain print, knit and embroidery machinery and studio space. The knit workshops have domestic and industrial knitting machines, including Brother 970s, Passaps, Dubieds, and potential access to CADCAM advanced Stoll knitting technology. Fashion textile students may also access the London College of Fashion Digital Print Bureau equipped with the latest AVA CADCAM software and Mimaki digital printers.

Laura Bell is the Course Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles with academic leadership in the specialist area fashion textiles, which incorporates print, knit and embroidery. With over ten years experience in the fashion industry, she has worked in a variety of specialist roles in textile design, womenswear and illustration, and with luxury companies such as Preen by Thornton and Bregazzi. Her research interests focus on student collaboration and individual empowerment, and encouraging students to realise their full potential. She has won a number of student-led awards for her teaching and her professional experience extends to Enterprise and Business Start-Up Management.

Carolyn Clewer is the Pathway Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Knit and an MA graduate from the RCA. She delivers specialist workshops covering core skills on domestic and Dubied knitting machines. She has extensive teaching experience and has won a number of student-led awards at UAL. Her professional practice is based around machine and hand knit design and in styling and production for exhibitions and shows.

Michela Carraro is the specialist design tutor for the Fashion Textile courses. She has worked for numerous luxury brands including Alexander McQueen, Biba and Danielle Scutt and has created independent capsule collections that have been showcased in Milan and London. She has collaborated with many photographers and artists including stylist Sarah Richardson on a variety of projects, advertisements and editorial fashion stories for: ID, Russian Vogue, Elle US. Her teaching focuses on design underpinned by the relationship between textile development and the principles of 3D design interpretation.

Polly Kenny is the Programme Director for Materials and has an MA in Fashion Studies. Her industry experience is extensive and has been through collaborative partnerships with, for example, Broderie Anglaise and Peter Wright Europe Ltd, with clients, including Ronit Zilka and Morris Angels, and at the industry’s textile fairs. She is a member of the Higher Education Academy and Vice Chair of the London Branch of the Society of Dyers and Colourists. Her practice-based research focuses on the mark of the hand through digital and craft processes investigating the archive and textile memories.

Rob Phillips is the Creative Director for the School of Design and Technology. Trained in fashion womenswear, surface textiles: print, menswear and illustration. Rob nurtures talent at LCF across all courses within the School, teaching holistically about fashion, developing the students’ full potential so they can make their unique contribution to the fashion industry. Rob continues to contribute to industry as a fashion commentator (BBC, The Guardian, SHOWstudio and more) and as creative consultant for fashion brands.

Careers

Developing your skills

All our undergraduate courses are concerned with the development of your personal and professional skills. On your course you will evolve from learning basic skills in your discipline through to a position where you are an independent creative thinker capable of making an effective contribution to the relevant sector of the fashion industry. Personal and Professional Development (PPD) skills are embedded in all units on every course. Speaker programmes with contributions from alumni, members of industry and others are a part of many courses, as are work placement opportunities in industry. Where relevant, students have the chance to attend trade fairs, enter industry competitions, visit exhibitions and go on field trips and visits. The central position of our John Prince’s Street site in the West End affords students easy access to all sectors of the fashion retail market. In addition, our position as a constituent College in the University of the Arts London means that our students have access to the wide range of activities and events that occur in all the Colleges and at the University’s centre. Last but not least, being in London gives every student opportunities to explore and be inspired by the cultural, intellectual and social life of one of the great capital cities of the world.

Future Careers and Graduate Prospects

Students who wish to continue their education at postgraduate level are encouraged to progress to suitable courses within the College, the University or elsewhere. Past graduates have progressed to MA study at the Royal College of Art, Chelsea and Central Saint Martins, as well as internationally such as Parsons in New York.

Many graduates prefer to seek employment as soon as they have completed their undergraduate studies. Recent graduates from this course have worked with a wide range of companies, including Louis Vuitton, Erdem, Fyodor Golan, Mary Katrantzou, Topshop and Adidas. Graduates have been headhunted from LCF Showcase to present work to Victoria Beckham and Tom Ford, among others.

Some graduates have set up in business as fashion textile designers, including Emily CarterNathalie BalloutMiriam Griffiths KnitwearBoo PalaVictoria Rowley.

LCF Careers

LCF Careers provides a comprehensive career management service supporting our students to become informed and self-reliant individuals able to plan and manage their own careers.

Entry requirements

Opportunities for All

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and seek to recruit students from diverse socio-economic, cultural and educational backgrounds. We are committed to supporting all our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

Course Entry Requirements

Entry to this course is highly competitive: applicants are expected to achieve, or already have, the course entry requirements detailed below.

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design PLUS two ‘A’ level passes at grade C or above PLUS passes in three GCSE subjects at grade C or above

OR equivalent awards

Preferred subjects include Art, Design, English and Maths.

This course requires a minimum 160 UCAS tariff points.

Exceptionally, applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered if the course team judges the application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by: related academic or work experience; the quality of the personal statement; a strong academic or other professional reference; or a combination of these factors.

English Language Requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

The level required by the University for this course is IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one skill.

Please visit the UAL Language Requirements page. Read carefully and look at the relevant documents.

Student Selection Criteria 

What We Look For

The course team seeks to recruit students who can demonstrate:

  • A range of drawing skills and a commitment to drawing as a tool for communication and investigation
  • A strong awareness of the importance of colour
  • An understanding of research and how it underpins the design process
  • A strong interest in textiles and fashion and commitment to professional self development, including independent learning
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, linked with an enquiring and innovative approach to study
  • Evidence of engagement with texture and form and practical manipulation skills

Portfolio and Interview Advice

For this course you will be required to upload a mini portfolio. Further instructions will be sent by the course administrator after application submission. International students should contact the International Office to find out about the portfolio application process.

For this course your portfolio should show evidence of: observational drawing; presentation skills; contemporary fashion/cultural awareness; a level of research, analysis and experimentation; engagement with texture and form; practical manipulation skills; construction/technical competence; potential to think/work in 3D; and visual communication skills.

Applicants will be expected to demonstrate the following at interview: a strong interest in fashion, fashion textiles and visual imagery; an awareness of technology; a critical and analytical approach; a motivation to succeed on the course; and a motivation for working as a fashion textile designer.

Interview Week

Interviews will be held at an off-site location in London to accommodate those applicants that have received an interview invite. Further details will be sent to you with your interview letter.

Please note that the majority of interviews for Home/EU applicants will take place in the week Monday 20 February to Friday 24 February 2017.

International applicants should contact the International Office about portfolio requirements (if applicable), interview times and dates.

How to apply

What Happens Next?

All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed on the Entry Requirements tab, under What We Look For.

Depending on the quality of your application, you may be asked to submit a number of images of your work. If the course team wish to consider your application further, you will be invited to an interview where the course team will look at your portfolio and ask you questions to establish your suitability for the course. If you are successful at the interview stage you will be offered a place. Applicants are not guaranteed to be asked to upload work, nor are they guaranteed an interview.

Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.

If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information.

Showing your Work

All final year students are given the opportunity to profile their work online via Showtime. London College of Fashion can make no guarantee that your work (either in sum or in part) will be shown, exhibited or profiled in any way as part of your course. All student work appearing in College organised events, catwalk shows, exhibitions and other forms of showcase, is selected by a panel of senior staff and, in some instances, external industry judges.

Course units

Year One

In the first term you will study two units.

Introduction to Study in Higher Education: Fashion Textiles aims to introduce you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level. It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent and collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development. Students come from many diverse educational backgrounds and a part of this unit will enable to reflect on your own background and how that shapes the way you approach your course.

The Design and Technical Process unit introduces you to textile design research methods and their relevance and application to the design process and the realisation of ideas. You will learn the importance of research in informing the originality of design and its realisation. Visual communication through an emphasis on drawing and exploration of techniques will be encouraged and you will be introduced to ways of recording your work in a visually stimulating, exciting and informative way by exploring a variety of methods and media. You will develop creative ideas that relate to and expand upon your visual references, and you will be introduced to and start to use the resources for embroidery to produce creative samples and consider 3D realisation. Induction in the Materials Library informs your knowledge of fabric identification and sourcing for fabrics for your embroidery specialism.

In the second term you will study two units.

Introduction to Cultural and Historical Studies introduces you to key concepts and ways of thinking about fashion and its context in society and culture. You will attend lectures, seminars and workshops, and do a significant amount of reading of academic texts in order to complete a formal academic essay for assessment. Completion of this unit will allow you to make an informed choice of subject for study in the second year Cultural and Historical Studies unit.

Creative Context gives you the opportunity to build on your research, design development and technical core skills by conducting independent design and market research. You will develop design concepts and realise and present original samples through your specialism. This will give you experience of problem solving through using technical production methods. You will further develop your drawing and presentation skills, as well as learning IT programmes for design development, communication and presentation. Your development and use of colour in designing a range of textiles will be an important aspect of this unit.

In the third term you will do the Introduction to Industry Practice unit which introduces you to working collaboratively in design teams to answer a simulated or professional brief.  You will attend business and marketing lectures to inform the design philosophy and its appropriate market level that team members will work together to develop. This will determine the nature of the textile design that the team will produce as core pieces within a capsule collection. The team will collate relevant information, challenge and expand upon creative concepts and theories and relate this knowledge to working practice. You will learn about brand identity, market levels, customer profile, pricing and range building. This unit encourages team members to collaborate with each other to produce the best possible outcomes, and you will develop your networking, communication and presentation skills through creative problem solving. The use of CAD for the development of fashion textile design and presentation will be promoted.

Year Two

In the first term you will be able to study a Cultural and Historical Studies unit of your choice that will broaden or deepen your learning of areas relating to your interests in your chosen field. You will have the opportunity to participate in lectures, seminars and workshops with students from other courses within your School, and will read relevant academic texts and complete a formal academic essay for assessment. 

Also in the first term, the Future Craft unit gives you the opportunity to consider the future of textile design through research and consideration of the environmental, social and cultural impact of your textiles on a global level. It will prepare you to predict, influence and inform forecasting as well as increasing your contextual knowledge, design development techniques and technical skills within your pathway. There will also be an emphasis on professionalism through portfolio presentation and the development of interpersonal skills through formative peer presentation. You will be asked to explore the possibilities of creating and promoting a range of fashion textiles to external clients, including real or simulated industry contacts, and / or cross course designers. You will further develop processes within the 2D and 3D translation of ideas, with a dual emphasis on the innovative use of hand / traditional / craft techniques and digital processes in order to create contemporary considered design proposals. Your use of appropriate industry-relevant software packages will be further developed in conjunction with the design and technical skills sessions, and these should be used as a vehicle for both experimentation and clear communication of ideas.

In the second term the Research Methods unit provides you with an opportunity to explore and experiment with different critical and methodological approaches to research, while also introducing you to a range of established research methods and the role of research within design and technology. The unit forms an introduction to the Contextualising Your Practice unit and establishes the relationship between theory and practice. You will also consider the relationship between primary and secondary sources, ways of developing and originating research, and methodologies for realising the research in a formal manner appropriate to your subject specialism. You will analyse the applications and any limitations. You will formulate a plan for future research into your subject specialism and construct a research proposal and presentation. This will prepare you for later projects where considerable research skills are needed to underpin your work.

Also in the second term the Designer Identity unit consolidates your learning so far and challenges you to consider your place, role and identity in the fashion textiles industry. You will explore your own design aesthetic and will investigate and produce a body of work that shows an individual and directional response to client, market and product. The research methods that you are studying simultaneously will underpin the initial stages and allow you to explore and develop a concept and subsequent themes. You will evidence research, analysis, design development, experimentation and manufacture through your design outcomes. There will be an emphasis on awareness of the market, and you will be expected to critically evaluate the quality of your design collection.

In the third term the Work Experience and Professional Studies unit gives you the opportunity to further develop your skills learnt on the course and apply them within a professional working environment. You will experience real industry problems and working practice and will be able to look at the ways in which the professional team members operate. You will be able to judge what opportunities exist for your career progression. You will be expected to take an analytical and reflective approach to the placement and you will produce visual and written material that documents your increased understanding of your experience.

Terms Two and Three will be reversed for some students to ensure that all students have a placement in industry.

Year Three

In the first term the Design Synthesis unit informs and prepares you for your Final Major Project and will allow a full investigation into an exploratory research and practical journey towards a body of work showing innovative design and technical experimentation with material, process and potential garment solutions in 2D and/or 3D to be considered, dependent on your specialism. You will be expected to engage in textile sampling and prototype testing in 2D and/or 3D for both your design and technical portfolios, and the focus is on using your skills to show extensive documentation of creative experimentation. You will identify your proposed market level and customer, and produce a Statement of Intent which identifies your brand ethos and core philosophy as a fashion textile designer, in preparation for your Final Major Project. The completed investigations will form the basis of your collection for your Final Major Project.

Contextualising Your Practice in the first and second term affords you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the critical and analytical perspectives developed within cultural and historical theory and your ability to apply these in a specific study. You will research the topic you identified in the Research Methods unit, which will lead to the production of an extended essay. It is the opportunity for you to undertake a substantial piece of structured research that examines in depth practical and theoretical issues related to your field of practice; it will build on the critical debates and concerns raised throughout your course.

In terms two and three you will undertake your Final Major Project. This is the culmination of your undergraduate experience and gives you the opportunity to fully develop the work started in the Design Synthesis unit to produce a body of work that reflects a deep engagement with the exploration and development of your design ideas through to your final design collection. The final outcomes may be innovative individual fashion textile collections and / or 3D realisations through cross course collaborations with fashion pattern cutting students. You will be demonstrating rigorous analysis in the exploration and development of your design ideas for fashion textiles. You will be responding to and applying your findings, discovered through your investigation of the challenges of your chosen brief, and you will be evidencing your ability to construct, direct and organise an overall professional outcome, which will include a collection of fashion textile products, a professionally presented portfolio, supported by technical work and written analysis of personal career direction.

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