City’s rich textile history inspires competition win
Norwich's vibrant textile history has inspired a mum-of-two to create a competition-winning collection of soft furnishings and accessories.
Sue Foster now hopes to go into business with her cushions and fabrics inspired by the historical textiles of Norwich's 'Strangers'.
The Brainchild competition, which is organised by Norwich University College of the Arts (NUCA) and in its third year, encourages students and recent graduates to take a business idea, develop it and then present it to a 'Dragons Den' style panel.
Mrs Foster, from Thorpe St Andrew, impressed this year's judges with her range of brightly-coloured fabrics which celebrates the diverse textile and cultural history of Norwich, and her aspirations to use some of the profits from selling the fabrics to help preserve the city's historical pattern books.
The MA textile culture graduate first had the idea to produce textiles based on the pattern books of the 'Strangers' – textile workers who came to Norwich from the Low Countries – when she studied for a foundation degree in Norwich in 1983. But it was not until she returned to Norwich after living in Australia for 20 years, that she decided to take her idea further.
You may also want to watch:
She said: 'I spent three years working on it and building up a relationship with the museums service, working with them to keep the designs true to the original fabrics and making sure it reflects Norwich.
'The pattern books are from around 1790 and were used by manufacturers to list different designs and the workers who made them.'
- 1 City ready for Cantwell and Aarons end game
- 2 'They're blaming me' - Social housing tenant angry over state of flat
- 3 Body found at Mousehold Heath there for 'considerable amount of time'
- 4 Pupils will start September term in different school over safety fears
- 5 More storms ahead as flood warnings remain in place
- 6 'A great guy' - Tributes to much-loved City fan who travelled home and away
- 7 Major £800,000 revamp proposed for busy city road
- 8 Hunt for man in connection with drug dealing
- 9 Perfect plaices? Three fish and chip firms go up for sale
- 10 More than a dozen arrests in Norwich on Saturday night
The prize is an investment pot of �1,000, plus free mentoring worth �4,500 from the competition sponsors – chartered accountants Lovewell Blake, solicitors Steeles Law, creative design agency Farrows, website design agency Selesti, business support community Norfolk Network and Barclays Bank. Norfolk Network founder Bev Hurley said the judges were impressed by Mrs Foster's passion for the project.
Do you have a story about a new business? Call Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email email@example.com