Academic and fashion industry insider publishes book on textile design

An Aberdeen academic, who has previously worked designing costumes in London’s West End and for clothing brands including Chloe and Gap, has co-authored a book on textile design for budding fashionistas.

Josie Steed bookJosie Steed, Head of Fashion and Textiles at Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art, has co-written Basic Textile Design 01: Sourcing Ideas, which aims to help readers take inspiration from their environment and translate this into textile design.

Featuring case studies and input from successful contemporary designers including Italian fashion house Missoni and Aberdeenshire interior craft specialist Donna Wilson, the book offers guidelines for aspiring designers such as how to generate and develop themes and styles.

Josie comments:

“By exploring new ways of seeing ordinary things, Sourcing Ideas enables readers to create extraordinary effects with textiles. Using different approaches, the book shows how to extract visual information from a variety of sources using five key themes – colour, surface, structure, texture and pattern.”

Josie left Aberdeen for London in the 1980s, working in the wardrobe department for various West End shows, including the original production of Les Miserables and 42nd Street, before studying textiles at Camberwell College of Art and Middlesex and Huddersfield Universities.

The former Harlaw Academy pupil then moved on to work as a fashion trend forecaster and freelance designer for Chloe and Gap, as well as for a knitwear supplier to Marks & Spencer.

Moving back to the North-east in 1997, Josie joined Gray’s School of Art as Course Leader for Textiles & Surface Design, leaving in 2005 to take a research fellow post at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee. In October 2011, she returned to Gray’s to head up the fashion and textiles programmes.

‘Sourcing Ideas’, the first in a series on textiles design published earlier this month by AVA publishing, was co-written by Josie with Duncan of Jordanstone colleague, Frances Stevenson. 

Josie continues:

“By providing an insight into successful formulas used by practicing designers and tips on how to carry out effective and wide-ranging research, the book is perfect for all textiles and fashion aficionados, as well as arts and crafts enthusiasts.

 “We hope the selection of exercises, case studies and images will provide the stimulation to have readers reaching for their sketchbooks.”

Basic Textile Design 01: Sourcing Ideas is out now and available online from Amazon and

Notes to Editors:

  • High resolution images from the book featuring the Paco Rabanne          Autumn/Winter ’11 catwalk show, sketchbook textile samples and the book’s front cover are available on request.
  • Interviews with Josie Steed are also available – please contact Sarah Grieve direct (details below) to arrange.

About AVA Publishing

AVA Publishing creates inspiring books for visual arts practitioners, students and enthusiasts. Our audience is visually literate, technically sophisticated and acutely aware of good design and presentation. Our titles respond to these qualities. They are written by leading authorities and contain illustrations, case studies and examples of contemporary visual art. Our print books are available from, Amazon and other stockists and all of our titles are also available as eBooks through a variety of channels.

Issued by:
Sarah Grieve
Communications Officer
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206