There is a disconnect for a number of applied design students who utilise drawing from online, published and photographic sources, in the development of design collections. In practice they are engaged with a subject that physically demands the direct use of hands in the making of artefacts, particularly within textile fields. Drawing is at the core of the development of ideas but it is often seen as being different or awkward and can cause anxiety amongst students who may be more focused on the end [designed] result. This article reflects upon the teaching of a drawing class with year two undergraduates on a textiles degree course at a UK university. Rather than relying on that which is readily available (from museums, online content, galleries, archives or trend forecasting sites), students make their own 2D and 3D primary sources from which they develop drawn proposals for textile and surface samples. Does this approach allow fresh visuals, new languages and translations for design to emerge? Will it provide a further level of engagement for those students who already love drawing as well as those who don't (yet)? Data has been drawn from key texts, questionnaires, journals and observations of the work carried out by participating students.