What is the CIRL project?
CMYUK started their Creatives in Residence Live project and worldwide design competition to provide unique internships and exciting opportunities for young creatives. The initiative follows four design and media graduates over the course of a 6-month placement at CMYUK’s advanced digital training and demonstration facility in Shrewsbury. Evie Venables, Sarah Willcocks, Keely Russell and Taylor Doggett were selected for their outstanding creativity and promising portfolios of existing work. CMYUK asked us to get involved and we were happy to provide industrial sewing machines to help the young designers learn more about this aspect of the industry!
What does the curriculum cover?
The curriculum consists of monthly modules which have been written exclusively by industry expert, multi-disciplined practitioner, and award-winning textile designer Debbie McKeegan. Debbie has tailored the monthly modules to create “a comprehensive, practical insight into real world digital production and commercialisation”. Each module underpins the knowledge and insights required for the designers to complete monthly briefs and is supported in collaboration with a whole host of industry experts, print designers, specialist practitioners and mentors. Topics include learning to use design software, colour theory, and print process to explore different textures, colours, and styles within their work.
The young creatives will largely be producing fashion and décor textiles for their final project, and this is where our sewing machines come in! Our technician John delivered and installed the machines, then gave the interns a crash course on how to use them! Our team are also on hand to provide technical support should they ever need it. You can catch a glimpse of John on the week 7 summary video which can be found on CMYUK’s social media feeds and website!
How can I get involved?
CMYUK are recording the interns’ progress and experiences via social media posts and vlogs which are filmed and edited by young videographer Taylor Doggett. They are also running a worldwide design competition which allows anyone who’s interested to be a part of the initiative! This adds an interactive dimension to the progressive learning experience. All design briefs are available to view online so designers from anywhere in the world can participate. There is a monthly competition for each brief, and winning entries are evaluated by leading industry luminaries and showcased regularly. This is intended to encourage a dynamic interactive community of décor, fashion, design and print enthusiasts to share in the collaborative learning experience.
You can find the project briefs to get involved and follow the story here:
Which industrial sewing machines will they be working with?
We have provided the young creatives with 3 different kinds of industrial sewing machine: a walking foot, an overlocker, and a lockstitch. This will give them a good basic knowledge of different stitch types and their applications. It will also help them to develop the sewing skills required to succeed in the industry and to create their final showpieces for the project with the fabrics they have designed and printed! They are currently using the following machines:
Advance AES–3030–D4 walking foot machine
Learning to use this machine will allow the creatives to work with a wider variety of materials and processes. Walking foot machines are particularly useful when working with multiple layers of fabrics, or heavy materials such as leather and vinyl. The simultaneous pull of the walking foot ensures all layers are fed at a consistent rate and produces a neat, even stitch!
Juki MO–6814S 4-thread overlock
This easy-to-use overlocker is suitable for various kinds of sewing materials and processes, producing soft-to-the-touch seams with minimal operating noise and increased durability. It produces the highest quality seams even when run at high speed and is suitable for light-heavyweight materials. It has standard functions which enable easy adjustments to the material being used and is a great entry-level machine for them to use!
Juki DDL–7000A–7 single needle lockstitch
These 1-needle, drop-feed, direct-drive lockstitch machine with automatic functions and additional digital features are also excellent for beginner sewers. The DDL 7000A is perfect for sewing light to medium weight fabrics such as polyester, cotton, wool, etc. It has automatic functions like thread trimming, backtack and (optional) foot lift, which greatly improve efficiency and productivity.
What is the long-term aim of the CIRL project?
The world is changing rapidly, and the textile industry is no exception! In the face of radical transformation, businesses within the industry need to innovate to keep up with demand. The project is intended to teach the young creatives, and anyone who joins the collaborative learning experience, to adapt to working with these new trends and technologies. This will provide them with insight, experience, and practical knowledge which will help them succeed in the design and print industry. The hope is that CIRL will create something inspirational to benefit as many young designers as possible!
If you would like more information about any of the industrial sewing machines listed in this article, or any others to suit your business or teaching requirements, please just get in touch with our team and we'll be happy to help!