Rebecca has grand designs for career

Rebecca Hardie with some of her award winning cushions. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Rebecca Hardie with some of her award winning cushions. Picture: Gordon Fraser

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A textile design graduate has received a major boost as she embarks on her career in the industry.

Rebecca Hardie, from Penicuik, was awarded the Textile Study Group’s Graduate of the Year title at the New Designers show in London last month.

The 25-year-old’s prize is to join the group’s residential study weekend in September where she will be able to build valuable contacts amongst its members.

She will also be able to show work on the group’s website as well as making the most of other publicity during the year.

The weekend will be led by textile artist Caroline Bartlett.

Former Penicuik High School pupil Rebecca explained she and other students from across the UK had been showcasing their work at the event.

The show was supported by major companies including Sky and John Lewis.

“I couldn’t believe I took first prize,” said Rebecca, who has graduated with a first-class degree in textile design from Dundee University.

“I was shocked.”

She is looking forward to her study weekend.

“Hopefully, I will maybe get some contacts out of it. It will be a great experience,” she said.

She explained her work was inspired by the urban environment.

“I looked at deprived areas around Edinburgh and Dundee,” she said.

“I was trying to look at patterns and make it a pretty thing. I was trying to show the beauty of it.”

Her graduation collection was designed around an interior space with three wall hangings, a large floor cushion and a chair upholstered in a fabric she had printed.

“I design more for interiors,” added Rebecca. “I have always been more interested in that having worked at Ikea for the last nine years.”

On leaving high school, Rebecca studied at Edinburgh College of Art to build up her portfolio for university in Dundee.

In a letter confirming her awards, the Textile Study Group said its selection team “very much enjoyed” hearing about her work and “were particularly impressed by your beautifully printed cloths, and your sensitive use of stitch”.

The letter added: “Your obvious passion for textiles and your lively enthusiastic commitment shone through.

“Your workbooks provided a thoroughly comprehensive range of designs of high quality – the urban environment looks so exciting!”