Wasima Akhtar is a textile design student at Central Saint Martins that specialises in knit and experimental textiles. Her twin sister Wajiha also studies embroidery at the London College of Fashion.
How did you get into textiles?
I started off in secondary school but at the time I didn’t really enjoy it but knew I wanted to be a fashion designer. Now I’m studying Textiles Design at Central Saint Martins and I chose to study it because I wanted to explore three main textile practices print, knit and weave. My course is very broad and I can go into interior or even architecture in the future. Right now at CSM I’m going to specialise in knitwear because I’m more of a 3D person and I love embroidery.
Do you like printing and weaving?
What type of print have you worked with?
Screen-printing and heat transfer. CSM offer digital print classes but I probably won’t have the chance to do it because I’m going to spend my time specialising in knit.
What type of knits do you make?
At the moment we’re learning techniques like how to make ribbed knits and working with hand and machine knits. I taught myself how to hand knit.
What else do you do on your course?
Next year I’m going to Florence to visit trade shows, look at yarns and gain more experience in knit.
How do you go about planning your work?
I’m not the best at drawing but I like drawing with my materials. My tutors at CSM are really supportive and I have weekly one to one tutorials to help with my work to guide me in the right direction.
What do you find difficult about knitwear?
I find pattern cutting difficult and it’s hard to turn my knits into clothing.
What do you listen to when you’re working?
I’m currently listening to Zayn Malik and The Weeknd because they remind me of old school RnB from the early 2000.
Manish Arora images by Ambra Vernuccio
Who are some of favourite designers that use interesting textiles?
I like the artist Subodh Gupta and designer Manish Arora. I like how they turn traditional Indian embroidery and objects into contemporary works.
Do you know what you want to do after completing your degree?
I’d like to start t-shirt business with my twin sister. She studies embroidery at London College of Fashion. She mixes traditional and contemporary embroidery together. We have our own studio in my Grandmother’s home and we always work there.
What do you love most about textiles?
You can do anything you want to do. I like playing with colours and texture but for my current project I’m toning my colours down and doing something different to challenge myself.
You can follow Wasima on Instagram here.