• University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, T1/08

    HD1 3DH Huddersfield

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

PhD research project currently available: The Therapeutic Cloth: Examining the Impact of Textiles as Art in Healthcare Environments. PhD supervision themes: Textiles/Fashion/Communication Narratology and Semotics; Textiles/Fashion as Cultural Signifiers; Textiles/Fashion as Communication and Mnemonics; Fashion/Textile Design for the Ageing Population; Fashion/Textile Sustainability; Design and Aesthetics for Hybrid Materials.

  • 12 Citations
  • 2 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Sonja Andrew is a Senior Lecturer in Design (Textiles) at the University of Huddersfield.  Sonja exhibits internationally, with designs jury selected by peer review for exhibitions in China, South Korea, Portugal, Belgium, Ukraine, Lithuania and the UK. In 2014 the Arts and Humanities Research Council selected her work on textile semantics and visual narrative for an Image Gallery Award and publication in their centennial book ‘Beyond The Trenches, Researching the First World War’. Sonja also received an excellence award for her textile installation 'The Ties That Bind (II)' in the Lausanne to Beijing International Textile Biennial in 2016. Her commissioned work includes pieces for the United Bristol Healthcare Trust and Wells Cathedral, and her designs are featured in ‘Textiles, The Art of Mankind’, a global review of contemporary textile practice. 

From 2013-2017 she was the Conference Director for the Textile Society and elected member on their board of trustees, convening annual international conferences and biennial research symposia related to the field. Her publication profile includes book chapters, exhibitions reviews and journal and conference papers. 

Sonja supervises MSc and PhD research projects and is a external examiner for PhDs in research areas related to textiles and fashion. She has undertaken validations for undergraduate and masters programmes in design, textiles and fashion at a number of UK universities and overseas institutions. Sonja is a graduate of Central Saint Martins (MA, PhD) and is an associate practitioner of the Higher Education Academy. She has externally examined programmes in Textile Innovation, Fashion and Textiles, Fine Art for Design, Printed Textiles and Surface Design. Sonja joined the University of Huddersfield in July 2017 and is currently acting Course Director for BA (Hons) Costume with Textiles. 

Research Expertise and Interests

Crossing the disciplines of design, semiotics and narratology, Sonja employs the creative design process as a mode of research inquiry. Her main research focuses on textile semantics and communication, exploring multi-modality through visual and tactile communication on cloth, the textile artefact as a signifying object, and the influence of context on audience perception. Her research interests also include textiles and sustainability, the aesthetic interface between textiles and paper to create hybrid materials for design applications, and textile/fashion design for the ageing population. Sonja has published in a range of art and design journals. Recent book chapters include ‘Perspectives on Making and Viewing: Generating Meaning through the Textile Medium’ (2016) and ‘Dichotomies in Textile Making: Employing Technology and Retaining Authenticity’ (with co-author K.Diamond, 2018). She is also editor for the conference proceedings ‘At the Edge: Extending Textile Boundaries’, ‘Colour Story’ and ‘Textile Identities’. Her next book chapter 'Dichotomies in Representation and Interpretation: A Pacifist's Story' in Hart, C. (ed.) WW1 Media, Entertainments and Popular Culture, is due for publication in 2018. 


Research Expertise and Interests

  • Textile Print
  • Semiotics
  • Visual Narrative
  • Mnemonics and Memory Studies
  • Multimodal communication
  • Material Culture
  • Hybrid Materials
  • Communication
  • Textile and Fashion Practices
  • Design for Sustainability
  • Design Driven Innovation
  • Contemporary Craft Practices
  • Textile Semantics

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Research Output

Dichotomies in Textile Making: Employing Digital Technology and Retaining Authenticity

Andrew, S. & Diamond, K., 22 Feb 2018, Craft Economies. Luckman, S. & Thomas, N. (eds.). 1 ed. Bloomsbury Academic, p. 70-82 13 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Dichotomies of Representation and Interpretation: A Pacifists's Story

    Andrew, S., 20 Jun 2018, World War One Media, Entertainments and Popular Culture. Hart, C. (ed.). 1 ed. Chester, England: Midrash Publishing, p. 399-420 22 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • Outlines and Outliers: A mix-method study of garment silhouette and the ageing body

    Zhang, M., Gill, S. & Andrew, S., 30 May 2018, (Accepted/In press) 91st Textile Institute World Conference 2018. 13 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  • Textile Semantics: Perception and Memory

    Andrew, S., 11 Sep 2018, Textiles, Identity and Innovation: Design the Future: Proceedings of the 1st International Textile Design Conference (D_TEX 2017), November 2-4, 2017, Lisbon, Portugal. Montagna, G. & Carvalho, C. (eds.). CRC Press

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • Artist statement: The ties that bind

    Andrew, S., 3 Apr 2017, In : Oral History Forum d'Histoire Orale. 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access


    H-ART journal of art history, theory and criticism (Journal)

    Sonja Andrew (Reviewer)

    20 Oct 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPublication Peer-review

    PhD External Examiner, Goldsmiths, University of London,

    Sonja Andrew (Examiner)

    9 Jul 2019

    Activity: Examination typesPhD Examination

    Creative Labs Biological Sciences Edition Sharing Event, The Print Works, Leeds

    Sonja Andrew (Speaker)

    4 Mar 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    PhD External Examiner, University of Chester, Department of English, School of Humanities.

    Sonja Andrew (Examiner)

    16 Jul 2018

    Activity: Examination typesPhD Examination