East Midlands Students Win Shima Seiki Competition


Last week, knitted textile design students Freya Butler (Nottingham Trent University) and Kathleen Myerscough (University of Derby) were named winners of Shima Seiki’s Apex Competition 2018. The competition was set up by Shima Seiki for students based at UK Universities, where this year, the two winners were awarded. This year, 23 students entered the competition from 8 different universities, the highest amount of entries Shima Seiki have received since the launch of the annual competition.

The brief was open for input by each student, enabling them to align with their own degree projects, or alternatively, an unrelated direction. Using the Shima Seiki Apex Apparel Design System, each student developed their ideas and created a mood board, 2D and/or 3D simulations, mapped images, colour-work and yarn developments in order to illustrate and communicate their designs effectively.

Shima Seiki selected 11 students for the finals day held at Shima Seiki’s Office Castle Donington, Derbyshire on 18th April 2018.

Finalists at the Shima Seiki HQ in Castle Donnington

Guest judges Sophie Steller (Sophie Steller Studio) and Morgan Allen-Oliver (ASOS Menswear Designer) reviewed each student’s project before holding an interview process.

Freya Butler’s project was generated from the concept of a diamond heist taking place at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. Drawing inspiration from diamond patterns and refraction of light, Freya created a stunning collection incorporating lurex yarns giving a luxurious sparkle.


Freya Butler Knit Shima Seiki
Work by Freya Butler (Nottingham Trent University)

Kathleen Myerscough’s project was inspired by the rugged landscape of Northumberland and the traditional wool outerwear materials that adorned local people. Kathleen has produced a collection of chunky 5GG swatches, translating patterns that would typically be associated with woven materials into contemporary knitted fabrics.

Kate Myerscough Knit Shima Seiki
Work by Kate Myerscough (University of Derby)

Freya and Kate were both awarded with a 2-week paid visit to the company’s head office in Wakayama, Japan where they will receive training on the latest Shima Seiki Apex programming systems and knitting technology. The Shima Seiki Apex Apparel Design System is now a market leader for the development of virtual sampling and simulated knitted structures.  The system can be used as a stand-alone design tool or in conjunction with Shima Seiki knitting machines.

Shima Seiki student knit award
From left: Kathryn Lund (Shima Seiki) Freya Butler, Kathleen Myerscough, Morgan Allen-Oliver (ASOS) and Sophie Steller (Sophie Steller)


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As a practicing knitwear designer based in Nottingham, UK, Charlotte works as a freelance knitwear consultant for designers, brands and manufacturers, having trained extensively in knitwear and knitted textile design at Nottingham Trent University. With a deep, historical love of and background in textile and knitwear design, Charlotte is inspired by the engrained traditional context of textiles across the world and takes her greatest inspiration from immersing herself in new places and cultures. Charlotte approaches knitwear design holistically, working collaboratively with suppliers and mills to ensure sustainable and ethical design and manufacturing practice.