Society of Dyers and Colourists Winner

Fabric design and dying techniques have always intrigued me, such as how manufacturers get those patterns to form so nicely on the luxury fabric we like to wear. It all starts with an artist a wonderful eye for color, and


The winner of the Society of Dyers and Colourists’ (SDC) International Design Competition’s UK heat is Kelly Taylor, a 23-year old textile design student studying at De Montfort University in Leicester.

This year, the students had been asked to demonstrate socially responsible thinking in their approach to their original design or written statement which accompanies the submission and explains the designer’s inspiration or theme behind their piece. Kelly Taylor’s winning piece entitled ‘Chain mail and floral filigrees’ was inspired by the ornate embroidered material worn beneath ancient oriental armour. The collection was deemed by the judges the most innovative and creative of all the entries, showing Kelly’s understanding of social responsibility and the issues which surround the fashion and textiles industry today.

She will now go on to compete against winners from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Pakistan, Singapore and South Africa at the grand final which will be held in London on October 5, 2010 at the Historical Clothworkers’ Hall. The global winner will be presented with their award by leading retail investor, entrepreneur and chair of the British Fashion Council, Harold Tillman.

“I was influenced by the pattern, texture and colour of worn ancient oriental armour and combined a variety of fabric weights, textures and techniques to create the collection. Bold pink and reds accent the soft light greys and peaches creating a sophisticated colour palette throughout the textile design work. I used digital printing on the fabrics as it is a much more eco-friendly way of printing, unlike screen-printing which uses harsh chemicals that can lead to air and water pollution. This method of transfer printing is fast becoming a popular technique for the textile and fashion industry. As well as printing I used hand embroidery and knitted fabrics which were then laser cut and foiled to produce samples inspired by metallic textures which represented the chain mail material of the original armour. Although the collection was originally designed for the contemporary fashion market – the project has now evolved and the subtle colour palette would work well in interior design fabrics as well.” - Kelly Taylor

" I am very thankful to the SDC and the judges for giving me the opportunity to move forward to the grand final of the competition.” - Kelly Taylor

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