Bolt of Cuba Street

A Wellington student wins the Bolt of Cloth textile competition

Now in its second year, Bolt of Cloth’s competition offering budding textile designers the chance to turn their working drawings into real-life prints has once again created some amazing results. After some tough competition, Wellington textile design student Maddie Morton took out the top prize at the end of last year, and has gone on to spend the summer working at Bolt of Cloth. Here she talks to us about her winning collection – based on the aesthetic of the iconic Cuba Street – and how she has honed her skills to suit the market.

What was your inspiration for the prints you worked on for the Bolt Of Cloth collaboration? After living in Wellington for three years, Cuba Street became my main influence for this design. It is an eclectic and iconic street in Wellington, home to award-winning restaurants, as well as quirky fashion and design boutiques.

What I found most interesting about the street was the contrast between the beautiful Edwardian architecture featured on the exterior of many of these buildings, and the textiles inside almost every one of them. I began drawing elements from both, and through collage, painting, and drawing my textile collection was formed.

After winning the award, was there much refining to be done before the designs went into print? The designs have developed a lot since winning the award. The initial collection was blue and a • salmon pink. After careful consideration, I decided to change the colours to both truly reflect my subject matter, and also to be a lot more gender neutral. I want people to be able to easily place my designs in their homes.

Are they available as fabrics by the metre as well as cushions? Yes. The fabric is printed on medium-weight cotton-linen blend, so it can potentially be used for soft furnishings as well as cushions.

You’ve been working at Bolt of Cloth over summer. Has dealing directly with customers influenced your decision-making process as a designer? Definitely! It has been a really amazing and inspiring experience, helping people choose really beautiful textiles for their homes. I have definitely been listening to what customers want in terms of colour and practicality, and I hope my designs can offer people this. It has been really interesting in terms of designing for both current, future, and classic trends, and has really built my knowledge and influenced my need to be diverse as a designer.

What is next for Maddie Morton? I have one more year of my degree to go so this year I will mostly be focusing on that. I hope to continue designing in New Zealand after I finish university, and would love to look into creating and promoting sustainable textiles in New Zealand, which are both visually pleasing and ethically sourced.

Maddie’s cushion collection can be bought instore or at – where you can also find details on how to enter this year’s competition.

Words Alice Lines     
Photography Andy Hewson


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