• University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, T1/08

    HD1 3DH Huddersfield

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

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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. 



  • 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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

clothing Social Sciences
peer review Social Sciences
Portugal Social Sciences
artifact Social Sciences
art Social Sciences
divergence Social Sciences
Viewer Arts & Humanities
methodology Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2014 2018

  • 3 Chapter
  • 3 Conference contribution
  • 3 Article
  • 1 Review article

Dichotomies of Representation and Interpretation: A Pacifists's Story

Andrew, S., Sep 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 proceedingChapter

Visual Image

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

Exploring Fashion Choice Criteria for Older Chinese Female Consumers: A Wardrobe Study Approach

Zhang, M., Andrew, S. & Gill, S., 11 Jun 2017, Advances in Design for Inclusion: Proceedings of the AHFE 2017 International Conference on Design for Inclusion, July 17–21, 2017, The Westin Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles, California, USA. Di Bucchianico, G. & Kercher, P. F. (eds.). Cham: Springer International Publishing AG, p. 109-121 13 p. (Advances in Design for Inclusion; vol. 587).

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

content analysis

Activities 2014 2017

  • 3 Examination
  • 2 Oral presentation
  • 1 Organising a conference, workshop, ...
  • 1 Membership of a panel

35th Annual Textile Society General Meeting & Conference

Sonja Andrew (Organiser)
Nov 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

MRes External Examiner

Sonja Andrew (Examiner)
1 Mar 201712 Apr 2017

Activity: Examination typesExamination

PhD External Examiner

Sonja Andrew (Examiner)
2 Nov 2016

Activity: Examination typesExamination

Conscience And War (Event)

Sonja Andrew (Member), Ali Ronan (Member), Barry Mills (Member)
12 Jun 2016

Activity: Membership typesMembership of a panel

PhD External Examiner

Sonja Andrew (Examiner)
7 Dec 2016

Activity: Examination typesExamination