Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design, based at the Galashiels campus, enjoyed a double success in London recently.
When the Worshipful Company of Weavers – the oldest of the London Livery companies – held its scholarship awards lunch earlier this month, it saw Esther Mason, a fourth-year BA (Hons) Design for Textiles, weave student, win a £2,000 scholarship award and was given the opportunity, along with the other award winners, to show some of her design work and network with the invited industry guests.
And honorary Professor Sheila-Mary Carruthers, who is the design director for Carruthers Associates, a textile design business, was awarded the company’s prestigious Silver Medal award for a lifetime of service to the textile industry.
Sheila-Mary was also a student, has taught at the School of Textiles and Design and now acts as an ambassador, supporter and friend of the school.
She said: “It was all a big surprise to me ... I have no idea how it came about, but the citation does mention my very long and continuous career, 49 years and still going as a designer in a very wide ranging career.
“So maybe it was for longevity, but possibly because I am now on a mission to download all my knowledge to the next generation, in order that they can have the same opportunities as I have had.”
Sheila-Mary has held many positions in the world of textiles, fashion and design and has given lectures on the subjects all over the world.
She is also a winner of the Dr. Oliver Medal, has been a judge for many international fashion competitions and is a trustee of The Bernat Klein Trust.
Both Esther and Sheila-Mary were presented their awards by Dr Patrick Grant, perhaps best known as a judge on the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee programme.
And in Sheila-Mary’s case, the award had perfect symmetry, as she had given Patrick his Laureation for his Doctorate at the campus.