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Textiles naturales > Blog > Uncategorized > Textile Degree Stud…

Textile Degree Student from the University of Loughborough, Cameron Philp, tells us about his internship with Anna Champeney Textile Studio in North Spain

Internship for weave students in Spain at Anna Champeney 800 pix

Loughborough university weave student Cameron Philp found production work at Anna Champeney demanding but rewarding. Here he is quality checking a finished piece prior to wet-finishing.

Cameron Philp is currently spending a year out in industry, after his second year as an undergraduate student in woven textiles at Loughborough, UK.  This internship year is a unique opportunity for students such as himself and enables them to experience and participate in the work of a diverse range of different textile and fashion businesses.  As part of this experience he was at Anna Champeney Textile Studio in June 2015.  The studio is an independent craft textile label specialising in hand-woven accessories and cushions based in North Spain which was founded by the British textile weaver and designer Anna Champeney.  What was the experience like?

  1. Can you describe the range of different work you did at Anna Champeney Textile Studio during the internship

During my time at the studio I was assigned to a variety of tasks, ranging from making up skeins for dyeing to producing full length scarves. This introduced me to ways of working I was not used to. My weaving experience at University has been geared towards producing samples. Here I had to be constantly keeping an eye on the density of the fabric and ensure I was weaving consistently. I wove many different products using a diverse range of yarns, such as linen towels and scarves made with over twisted yarn.

I was also involved in helping Anna with the promotional aspects of the business, in particular Instagram. As well as taking photographs to be used on Instagram I took product shots for the online shop.

  1. What aspect of the work did you enjoy the most?

It was great to be able to learn about methods I simply hadn’t come across before e.g. felpa [Galician pile fabric technique]. I feel this placement really consolidated my previous knowledge and has increased my confidence significantly. Seeing a whole product through from start to finish was extremely satisfying.

  1. What did you find the greatest challenge?

Producing products for sale introduced me to a whole different way of working. It forced me to be analytical and critical of my own work. Keeping the density consistent was something I found difficult as I haven’t had to focus on this aspect before.

  1. What about the experience of living for a month in a rural Spanish hamlet with Spanish work hours (ie starting later, having a long siesta and lunch break at midday and finishing work at 8pm) virtually no public transport, no TV, limited WIFI and no shops?  What were the pros and the cons, how did you adjust and how did you spend your free time?

Having a later start compared to home [the work day starts at 10 and finishes at 8, with a long siesta break at midday] was definitely a welcome change. Finishing late was not something I expected to enjoy, however it wasn’t a problem and became routine very quickly. I am a very sociable person so not having social activities on tap was a shock to the system at first. My Spanish is extremely limited so conversing with many of the locals was challenging but everyone was very welcoming. I tried much of the local produce and was extremely impressed with the local wine. I spent some of my free time exploring the beautiful scenery surrounding Cristosende. I wouldn’t normally choose to go on cross country walks but I was so enthralled by the scenery it had to be done. The tree top walkway was a definite highlight. On the weekends I spent the evenings in the local bar (Casa Grande). The staff were very hospitable and let me use their wi-fi. They also praticed their English with me which was great but I learnt very little Spanish. There was much more I wanted to explore but I simply did not have time. Cristosende definitely deserves a return trip!


  1. How does the experience complement or enrich your weave studies at Loughborough University?

Working here has been an extremely valuable experience. I feel that I have much more technical knowledge in regards to weaving. Seeing what can be achieved by using different yarns or less common techniques has really inspired me to expand my practical experience. Having an insight into the running of an independent designer-maker’s business was also very useful.

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