Getting Creative with Heriot Watt University

Heriot Watt University

The Heriot Watt University design campus in Galashields may not look like it houses state of the art design technology, but this campus in the Scottish Borders is certainly more than meets the eye.

Tucked away in Galashields, the Heriot Watt University campus boasts the largest knit and weave studios and longest screen-print table in Europe. They also have a massive archive collection, but this isn’t that surprising, considering the heritage surrounding the campus.

Heritage isn’t the only thing that surrounds the campus. Galashields has a long history of textile production and luxury fashion houses still use mills in the Borders. Chanel owns a mill near the campus & Prada, Hermès, Pringle and Saint Laurent all have collections running through the local mills.

Is there a better place to study textiles and knitwear than surrounded by generations of knowledge?

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The tour kicked off with a tour around their printing facilities. We saw some of the work the 2nd year students were working on and even got to try our hand at screen printing! If you want to see how we got on then you can watch the Vlog of our trip here. The printing course includes digital printing and seeing how the fabric is printed, and how much colour changes on different materials was really interesting.

After our foray into printing, we tried our hand at knitting using some industrial knitting machines. Seeing what the masters students were creating was so inspiring. I’d not be surprised if some of them set up their own labels when leaving uni! After trying every knitting machine Sheri & I could get our hands on, we moved onto the looms! Who knew I would enjoy weaving so much?

Trying out the looms you can easily see why hand woven, luxury fabrics are so expensive. They are so time-consuming and labour intensive! The results are absolutely beautiful, just looking around at the students’ work was enough to make me want to put in some orders myself!

We chatted with some 4th-year students at the end of the tour and I can honestly say I am looking forward to seeing where their futures take them.

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Visiting the campus was a step back in time for me. I studied fashion design & garment technology at University and it brought back so many memories and reminded me how much I miss being surrounded by so much creativity.

Heriot Watt University also offers summer courses and I am seriously considering a crash course in knitwear at the Galashields campus. If you are considering a career in fashion then I would definitely recommend looking into a course at Heriot Watt University!

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