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UKFT’s MADE IT Masterclass at De Montfort University



UKFT held a production and sourcing masterclass for second-year undergraduate students within the school of Fashion and Textiles at De Montfort University earlier this month to provide a better understanding of real-life production and sourcing in industry, and highlight the benefits and opportunities of working with UK manufacturers.

The masterclass is part of UKFT’s MADE IT programme, which will see UKFT delivering a masterclass to students at five universities and offer one student from each participating university a fully financially-supported internship opportunity within a fashion or textile production environment in the UK. At De Montfort, second year BA Fashion Design students can apply for the internship.

The masterclass at the De Montfort University was delivered by Daliah Simble-Hearn, a product lifecycle management consultant who has worked with brands including Jigsaw, Roland Mouret and Chinti and Parker, and Elliott Barlow, UKFT’s manufacturing consultant. The masterclasses would normally be delivered face-to-face but due to the current restrictions, the first in this year’s programme was delivered online.


Charlotte Farmer, a second year Contour Fashion student at De Montfort University, said: “Attending the UKFT MADE IT masterclass was such an important opportunity offering invaluable insight into sourcing, the importance of strong relationships with manufacturers and the supply chain process.

“Daliah’s presentation was thorough and easy to follow; she offered first-hand knowledge and I have written pages and pages of notes. I know I’ll be referring to them throughout my early career. Huge thank you to Daliah and Elliot for their time.”

Buddy Penfold, associate professor at the School of Fashion and Textiles, De Montfort University, said the masterclass guided students through the various factors that influence the creation of garments and noting that many of these are far removed from the design process itself.


“By doing this, Daliah has made the students consider the importance of the initial design decisions they make,” said Buddy.

“So many students have spoken of the influence of the talk during their tutorials as they start their final major project, helping them to think more broadly about their collections.”

Professor Carolyn Hardaker, Head of School of Fashion and Textiles at De Montfort University, added: “The UKFT Production and Sourcing Masterclass provided students across the School with a unique opportunity to benefit first-hand from a highly experienced industry specialist, Daliah Simble-Hearn. Students have commented on how useful this knowledge is proving to be as they continue their studies. Many thanks to Daliah, Elliot, and the UKFT team for this opportunity.”

The session gave students an overview of how to build the right sourcing strategy for a business, while helping them to understand and identify the hidden costs attached to sourcing.

It also helped students to understand sourcing terminology used in industry, as well as exploring different options for building a supply chain strategy. It examined various issues around ethical and sustainable sourcing, and presented the business case and opportunities for working with UK manufacturers today.

The masterclass outlined the different areas of specialism of UK manufacturing including knitwear in Scotland; the north of England for wool textile weavers, outerwear and technical textiles; the Midlands for knitwear, jersey and footwear; luxury ready-to-wear and fast fashion in London; silk in the South East; and lingerie from the South Coast and in Yorkshire. It also helped students to understand how to approach manufacturing in the UK, with real-life examples of developing long-standing relationships with suppliers.

MADE IT is a three-year project and UKFT is working with Plymouth College of Art, Winchester School of Art, De Montfort University and Bucks New University and the University of Salford for the 2020-21 academic year.

Find out more about MADE IT here

In addition to the MADE IT programme, UKFT offers a variety of Masterclasses for Academic and Education settings and industry. Find out more below.

Academic Masterclass

Industry Masterclass