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Textiles (MA)

Caitlin Maxwell Hughan

Caitlin Maxwell Hughan is a designer working to develop ‘farm to fibre’ relationships between agriculture, manufacturers and designers. With a background in knit, Caitlin is particularly interested in using colour and fibre to make yarns for the performance industry.

Sponsored by Shi-Kwan and The Coats Foundation Trust

Degree Details

School of DesignTextiles (MA)KnitRCA2023 at Truman Brewery

Truman Brewery, F Block, First and second floors

Black and white image of a female sitting to the left of 3 hanging hanks. A black background, hair tied back.

My practice revolves around two strands;

The research and development of yarns made from natural fibres grown in the UK I am building a network to develop my own locally sourced yarns for specific functions, based on the requirements of designers or brands, particularly performance brands. 
The application of colour to yarn When made into fabric, the yarns create pattern, also known as a space-dye effect. The yarns are suitable for knit, weave, and stitch, and I call on designers to explore a diverse range of pattern outcomes. 

With thanks to Coats Foundation Trust, Shi-kwan yarns for providing me with recycled yarns in colours I could match perfectly with my own, to Freddie Robins and Seetal Solanki, and to Toni Hicks of the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters for your advice, to Sarah Brunnhuber and Tomoyo Tsurumi for your collaborations and explorative spirit, to Michael of Cinderwood Market Garden for your hospitality, knowledge and general hard graft to genuinely make a difference, to my specialist team of hank makers: Martha, Zoe, Alex, Silvia, Heleyna, Ed, and Polly, to those close for the meals and support, to Solly Solamito for helping me to achieve my goals and always knowing when to ramp it up, and to Cassie Henderson for helping me to transform my yarns into knit on your Stoll.

Textiles can be inspired by close relationships between grower and chef to create fibres based on crop success/failure.
Pictured (left to right): Michael Fitzsimmons (Head Grower at Cinderwood), me and Tomoyo Tsurumi. Photograph by Carolina Estrada.

A farm visit to Cinderwood Market Garden with Mono collective*. By maintaining a close relationship with chefs, restaurants adapt their menu according to successful crops, on a weekly or even daily basis. With this in mind, designers working with natural fibres can incorporate crop success and crop failure into their fibre choice. 

*Mono Collective aims to connect a community of makers, producers and growers through a series of workshops and curatorial projects. Our aim is to educate and connect through accessible textile techniques, grounded in nature. Contact Mono at

Green and blue harvest crates below basil, paper potplanter planting lettuce, colour study - turquoise, blues, reds, purples
Colour story
Photo of blurred tree, greens and blues. Rhythmic patterned line extends into next section. Dyed yarns depict found colour.
Rhythms of line repeat to convey pattern t, translated into knit with zig zag pattern
Knitted on Stoll with Cassie Henderson.

The yarns offer a shared language 

between grower, processor and designer 

enabling exploration at a much earlier stage of the design process 

to inform a specific outcome

where aesthetics and function are designed in harmony.

Collection of dyed hanks with different patterns


The Coats Foundation Trust