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Milliken and Loughborough University Reinforce Powerful Partnership

Image taken in the Milliken showroom before lockdown

For the second year running Milliken partnered with Loughborough University on a project to design carpet tile concepts using Milliken’s proprietary Millitron patterning technology for theoretical commercial environments. The project, developed closely with the University, forms an important part of the students’ final degree. However, students and staff faced unique challenges in 2020 due to the pandemic.     

The aim of the initiative is to encourage students to explore the broad contexts and applications of textiles, considering social responsibilities, sustainability, and advanced technologies. Milliken Design Manager Kerry Cottam said: “Working with Loughborough University enables us to look to the future and see the emerging talent. Milliken offers students the opportunity to learn about different techniques; how to work on a different surface and the potential of Milliken’s patented Millitron patterning technology. We spoke to the students individually (virtually this year) and sent feedback; they were so professional, confident and enthusiastic. For me it’s about keeping our eyes in the world and giving something back, especially in this climate. We loved looking at the students’ work – they are the future.” 

Kit Neale Programme Director, Textile Design at Loughborough University said: “It's an exciting and inspiring partnership, opening students' eyes to commercial design trends and technologies. It challenges our students to create imaginative, innovative, and intelligently designed textiles for ambitious interior settings that Milliken's in-house design teams work in.”

This year’s winner is Annabelle Loweth, a visually impaired hand weaver and textile designer based in London. Her most recent work focuses on juxtaposing natural features with architectural environments. Having been born with a severe visual impairment, Annabelle has the opportunity to observe the world from a unique and distinct perspective. She focusses on the more defining details: textures and close structures of media that others may overlook. Annabelle’s project ‘Organic Architect’ is a juxtaposition between architectural structures and the natural environment. The second prize went to Dani Nash, a London-based textiles and print designer whose main inspirations are drawn from London’s skate and streetwear culture. The third place winner Morgane Dumas grew up in a small village on the Cornish coast, where she observed both the power and vulnerability of nature up close. 

Loughborough University’s Kit Neale said: We're grateful for Milliken's dedication and hard work to support our students. The cash incentive in the awards our students receive is, of course, tremendous for them to invest in their studies. Still, more than this is the experience and opportunity to have work created and showcased in the London showroom is magnificent, and builds their professional confidence.” 


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