Student using fabric painting equipment

Fabric workshop and sewing room

Develop your skills, create designs and work on fashion projects

Our fashion and textile design courses encourage you to be a creative and innovative thinker. In the fabric workshop and sewing room, you'll put your creative ideas into practice using the latest tools and equipment.

Experiment by combining traditional skills and techniques with new digital technology. And get guidance and support from our highly skilled technicians.

Fabric workshop

In our fabric workshop, you'll learn every step of the fabric preparation and design process, including many fabric printing techniques.

  • Keep fabric flat and taut for preparation, cutting, sizing and printing using our 4-metre fabric printing tables
  • Embroider intricate designs with our embroidery machines
  • Dye fabric using industry standard inks, including water-based, metallic and fluorescent inks
  • Dye denim using indigo vats
  • Screen print designs for pieces as small as badges, through to t-shirts and banners using our A2 and A3 fabric screens
  • Add a professional finish to your fabrics using professional printing beds

You can learn lots of different kinds of printing techniques in the fabric workshop, including:

  • Devoré printing — also called 'burn-out' printing, this uses a chemical substance to 'burn' fabric fibres in a pattern
  • Decolourant printing — using a decolourant paste to remove colour from dyed natural fabrics, using heat to seal the design in the fabric
  • Extract printing — applying a chemical such as chlorine or hydrosulphite to bleach out a light pattern on a darker fabric
  • Paste printing — printing a solder paste onto a substrate using a printer and stencil
  • Puff printing — applying an ink onto fabric and exposing it to a high temperature to set and puff up the material to give a 3D feel
  • Synthetic and heat-resistant fabric printing — printing on fabrics designed with a tolerance to heat, ideal for insulation and lining
  • Batik dyeing — painting a design with wax on fabric, before dying the fabric, so the waxed area resists the dye

Sewing room

Our large, open-plan sewing room can host up to 25 people. You'll use standard sewing machines through to imaging and modelling designs in Modaris using our digital lecture board. And you'll learn using the same equipment as industry professionals. Our mannequins come in different shapes and sizes, so you can design for multiple body types and scales.

  • Access our well-stocked finish and pattern library with all the materials you need to make your designs
  • Use the industrial felling machine to hem fabrics and prevent fraying
  • Join seams and precisely trim excess fabric using the industrial overclockers
  • Hem elastic fabrics while maintaining their stretchiness with the coverstitch machine
  • Create neat holes in fabric using the digital buttonholer or the popper and eyelet machine
  • Design fabric covered buttons that can be made by our staff for a small price
  • Work on leather or denim using the industrial leather machines
  • Mesh fabrics or add detail by felting with the embellisher machine
  • Neatly remove creases using the industrial steam presses with built-in vacuums
  • Use the fusing press to heat and seal glues without melting or damaging fabric

Teaching and project space

Our separate teaching and project space is kitted out for classes and project work. It's open until late most days and has an attached kitchen, so you can come in and work on your designs at a convenient time for you.

The School of Art, Design and Performance office is close by so you can pop in and ask tutors for a hand when they have the time.

Fashion and Textile Design teaching and learning space featuring desks, chairs, computers, student work and posters

What's in the teaching and project space

  • 17 ladies mannequins to fit designs
  • 8 large pattern cutting tables – your main work space
  • 3 PCs – installed with Ethos, Modaris, Adobe CC and laser cutting software
  • TV projector and sound system

Skills support

You can get skills support and guidance from our experts and technicians, from learning something new to finessing your technical skills for final year projects or postgraduate studies.

  • Basic skills sessions for trying out new methods and techniques
  • 1-to-1 sessions with a tutor
  • Sampling sessions to test out new patterns and designs
  • Library of technical process guides — step-by-step guides and points of reference

Where to find us

Eldon Building
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth
PO1 2DJ

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