School of Design Textile Design

Emma Mackenzie


A knitted textile designer who specializes in minimalist designs and subtle textures. Working with a limited colour palette, creating pieces that prioritise simplicity and refinement.



“Chiaroscuro” is an Italian term used in art to describe the use of strong contrasts between light and dark to create a sense of volume and three-dimensionality.

My collection of knitted fabric is inspired from research collected whilst traveling in Southern Italy, Mexico, Lithuania and Athens focusing on the architectural landscape of key cities. The emphasis within this visual research was looking at how light and shadows create tonal difference on architectural forms and interior environments, changing textures and distorting colour. Alongside this the visual research also provided me with a wealth of muted colours and considered monochromatic palettes to analyse and translate into yarns suitable for my desired aesthetic. Working with layered cutwork papers and collaging patterns found in my research I created a range of motifs that could be translated into hand manipulated stitch details on the 7 gauge industrial machine. Combining these details with tucked and racked technical elements concluded in fabrics that have sculptural forms, micro stripes and pops of hidden colour all for a high end fashion context. Using a combination of responsibly sourced Viscose, Silk, Lambswool and synthetic blends my fabric collection is designed to be timeless and oppose fashion trends.