INTERVIEW: Eleanor Walton- Printed Textile Designer

When I saw the work of Eleanor Walton- an enthusiastic new printed textile designer, I had to catch up with her and find out how she ended up creating such stunning work. I think it's really inspiring to see how she has developed her degree show into something that makes money.  

Q1. Tell me a little bit about yourself?

I know a lot of people say this, but I have always wanted to draw and to have a career where I can do this had always been a life long dream of mine, which is slowly becoming reality. I have grown up in Derby and studied at NTU which helped me meet some amazing people and give me unique experiences. 
I have gained a lot of experience within the fashion and interior industry doing numerous placements over the years and I am currently working as a cad designer for an interior swatch studio, which I am enjoying.

Q2. Where does your inspiration come from? Who inspires you? 
I don't have specifics things that inspire me because I feel you can get inspiration from anything, even if its unrelated to textiles, but I for me I am always inspired by things I see and can draw from primarily because I think is give a unique quality to any drawing when drawn from life. 

My 'saddle up' project for my degree project (horse scarves) initiated from my grandad. I found old black and white photos of him on his farm and my mum riding her horses and I thought about how the theme of horses is very niche and can be very dated. I took on my mums hobby with my grandads support and help and it made me want to create a modern equestrian range that will be trend driven and could appeal to a wider audience part from horse lovers. 

I like to see what is trending or future trends for both fashion and interior and to see gain inspiration on either materials, colour or technique. Love Matthew Williamsons use of vibrant colour and Romo's interior range for their techniques in creating imagery on furnishings. 

Sadly my grandad wasn't here to see mt work but what he left me went towards my printed saddle piece which was my main show piece and is one of its kind.
Q3.Where did the idea to start creating scarfs come from?

The idea for scarves came along for I found myself a full time job. I had all my degree show work from uni that I designed for interiors (which you can see on my website) and even though I wanted to reproduce my throws and wallpaper samples as products I couldn't because they were all screen printed and I didn't have the resources, studio or money to make them being a new graduate. I didn't want my imagery and ideas to go to waste so I used my savings to translate them as digitally printed scarves which I hand finish myself after work.

Hunting Toile Scarf- £69

Q4. How did you end up collaborating with Couture Cases? 

Couture Case's approached me at my degree show and gave me an exciting opportunity to see my prints applied to the home in a different way.

Q5. Who is your target audience? 

As touched on earlier, I wanted my scarves to appeal to the modern day horse rider as well as the general fashion consumer. Equestrianism has always been a re occurring fashion trend and I used colours not necessarily associated with the theme to appeal to a wider audience.  

I visualise my scarfs on young professionals  to add colour or detail to any outfit, but the feedback I have received has been amazing from all age groups and some of the more simple design appeal to trendy mums that appreciate a nice scarf to make an outfit (my mum included lol).

Q6. If anyone could wear one of your scarfs, who would it be?

I would love someone like Alexa Chung to wear my scarf because she always has very interesting, eclectic outfits and can always pull off a print. Or Zara Phillips in the 'horse world'. But see anyone wearing them and enjoying them makes me so happy and gives my a sense of achievement.

Q7. Do you think university helped to enhance your creativity? 

Uni did help me creatively because of the way we are taught. Unlike other subjects sitting in lectures, textiles makes you work with and around others in the studios and print room. 

I loved the print room environment and working with my friends, constantly bouncing ideas off of one another. I always found it interesting how people's project progressed in different directions when we were all given the same starting point. It's really inspiring.
Q8. What are you planning to do next?
 Initially my scarf part of my brand was a trial because I have never attempted anything like this before and I didn't know if anyone would be interested. But I have had an amazing response, so for now I want to keep working my day job in the interior industry and carry on my scarves on the side because I enjoy doing it. 

I don't know what the future holds yet, but i would like to have my own brand printing scarves and at some point finally make my interior samples as products to sell one day. 

Check out Eleanor's website if you would like to find out more or purchase one of these stunning silk scarfs! 


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