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Funded PhD: Royal College of Art Textiles

Woman stripping bark from a nettle plantA Funded PhD with RCA Textiles, enabled by funding from the late Susi Dunsmore’s foundation.

About the project
The aim of this project is to develop innovative new pathways for the textile-led social development work of Susi Dunsmore. Dunsmore’s textile practice-led approach to community development was holistic in its understanding of the place of the nettle plant in the local environment and culture.

The Nepalese Giant Nettle provides one of the longest bast fibres in the world and is traditionally used in weaving and knitting by the women of communities in the mountainous region of East Nepal. Woven, knitted and other constructed textile products provide supplementary income to subsistence farming. Susi Dunsmore worked with these textile makers and introduced new weave and knit structures, fibre blends and product types to improve income generation through textile making.

Dunsmore’s approach to social impact through co-design integrated an understanding and respect for the lives of the female makers. Her work provides a model for social impact projects through textile making. This research project will simultaneously model and extend Dunsmore’s approach addressing urgent and contemporary production concerns.

Text and image: with thanks RCA

Grants: The Theo Moorman Trust for Weavers | Alison Morton Memorial Awards

Grant: Theo Moorman Trust for Weavers
The Theo Moorman Trust
for Weavers will be making their biennial grants to weavers during March 2022. Grants of between £500 and £5000 are awarded to younger weavers in the early stages of their careers who show potential and commitment as well as to more experienced weavers for a particular project or for time out to develop their work.

The Theo Moorman Trust for Weavers aims to encourage and support weavers in the United Kingdom to enjoy artistic freedom so that they may contribute to the development of handweaving and the education of future weavers.

Application deadline: 1 March 2022

Further details and an application form is available to download from their website  or by contacting admin@theomoormantrust.org.uk

Alison Morton Memorial Awards
In 2022 the Theo Moorman Trust for Weavers will be making two additional awards in memory of Alison Morton (1946 – 2021). Alison was one of the most dedicated loom weavers of her generation, latterly renowned for her beautiful understated linen cloths and hangings. For the last fourteen years of her life, she was a Trustee of the Theo Moorman Trust for Weavers, a role to which she brought great commitment, as well as invaluable humour and experience.

Weaving residencies at Ruthin Craft Centre 12 – 26 March 2022
Application deadline: 5 January 2022
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Job Opportunity: BFTT | Dash + Miller R&D Project Lead

This post is an exciting opportunity for a Post Graduate, or Post-Doctoral Researcher (or equivalent demonstrable industry/research experience) to work as the Research & Development (R&D) Project Lead, facilitating a novel collaborative project, between UAL and Dash & Miller.

You will be employed by the University of the Arts London but predominately working remotely, with some travel within the UK and on-site delivery at Dash & Miller’s premises in Bristol.

The Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology (BFTT) Partnership is a multi-million pound initiative lead by UAL aimed at accelerating the growth of fashion, textile and technology sector through collaborative R&D partnerships and projects.

Dash & Miller have been awarded funding within the BFTT R&D SME Support Programme. The principal aim of the project is to develop R&D around digital textiles to aid design and communication throughout the supply chain.

They are looking for an individual with flexibility to work at sites in Bristol and remotely, with a thorough knowledge of the digital fashion and textiles landscape, as well as the circularity and sustainability opportunities available within the sector.

You will have a PG qualification in the area of fashion and textiles with a focus on the application of digital within the sector, or equivalent research and/or industry experience.

You will have experience of managing textile supply chains from yarn to finishing, and ideally a knowledge of digital product development within the fashion context gained through research and/or relevant R&D industry work. Continue reading →

Call for Entries: 2022 Experimental Weaving Residency

The Unstable Design Lab is excited to host a call for entries for their second Experimental Weaving Residency. This funded residency will take place in winter/spring 2022 and is focused on developing experimental textile structures and concepts in close collaboration with engineers and scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder.

The Unstable Design Lab is hosting its experimental weaving residency with the goal of developing new techniques and open-source resources that can co-evolve fiber arts and engineering practice.

The chosen resident will work with the Unstable Design Lab, as well as researchers from the University of Colorado, to create a series of samples inspired by challenges currently faced by engineering researchers. For example, shape weaving techniques for creating form-fitting and/or compression garments for counter-pressure spacesuits, integration of power harvesting diodes, compostable or easily reusable textile structures for zero-waste manufacturing, or structures that dynamically fold and unfold to support mechanical structures or soft robotics (to name a few, but not all, possible spaces for experimentation).

Applicants should be open-minded, curious, and above all deeply knowledgeable about woven structures and their behaviours. No knowledge of computer science, electronics, or engineering is required for participation. Continue reading →

Company Profile: AKHL

AKHL was founded by Akhil Nagpal in 2019.

AKHL is defined by its commitment to innovation, experimentation and the crafting of evocative pieces of fashion by contemporising traditional Indian handcrafting and handweaving techniques.

Essential to its designs are distinctive and complex textiles, engineered using unusual and often upcycled materials, employing a wide range of processes including hand weaving, traditional Indian hand embroidery, hand printing, applique and spectrum dyeing.

Ultimately, these signature textiles, in conjunction with handwoven and new age fabrics, are meticulously tailored into inventive and evocative luxury womenswear.

Since its founding, AKHL has been a recipient of various awards and honours. It showcased its debut collection at Lakme Fashion Week SS20 as the winner of the prestigious Gen Next Competition and won The Grazia Young Fashion Award in 2021.

It has also been awarded the curated title ‘Black Sheep’ on Not Just A Label, given to the most innovative and striking designers on the platform.

AKHL has been featured on the ‘Label Alert’ segment in Harper’s Bazaar India and Grazia India as well as in various other editorials by leading Indian fashion publications including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Grazia and Cosmopolitan.

Reflektor SS21 Collection
AKHL SS21 collection has been visually inspired by interactions and distortions of light and colour. The studio has  studied these interactions in highly-engineered and uniquely processed reflective installation artworks by Olafur Eliasson and James Turnell, as well as in softer, yet equally compelling, natural reflective surfaces.

These vivid colour and light visual studies helped them develop new-age handwoven and hand-embroidered textiles as well as sharply-cut sculptural silhouettes, all of them ultimately culminating into an innovative and evocative collection of modern ensembles.

The most dominant textile in this collection has been their handwoven/hand-embroidered silk-raffia mesh. This textile is first meticulously woven on a handloom, it has a raw silk warp and a raffia weft.

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Opportunity for Funding: BFTT | SME R&D Support Programme | Round 3

The Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology Partnership,

BFTT is one of the nine UK Creative Clusters, which has just launched a call for UK SMEs for the value of approx. £1 million to develop the next generation of products, services and experiences in the fashion, textiles and technology (FTT) sectors – with sustainable innovation at their core.

BFTT is looking forward to hear from the FTT companies and those on the broader STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) fields interested in collaborating with the FTT sector and would like to achieve a step-change in their business trajectory.

The Business of Fashion, Textiles & Technology (BFTT) SME R&D Support Programme is now open for Expressions of Interest (EOI). Round 3

The fashion, textiles and technology-related sector (FTT) is buoyant, innovative and multidisciplinary, informing many adjacent sectors in the wider industry. Quite literally, spanning agriculture to advertising.

You can find more information about the programme, including eligibility, selection criteria, core funding themes and key dates here. They are also keeping an up-to-date list of FAQs.

The deadline to register your Expression of Interest is Monday 29 March 2021, 23:59. 

You can learn more about the 10 R&D projects funded during the Funding Call Round 1 here.

Link to news page:

Image credit: ©Blackhorse Lane Ateliers 

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Awards: QEST Scholarships

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) awards scholarship and apprenticeship funding of up to £18,000 to talented and aspiring craftspeople working in a broad range of skills, from farriery and cheese maturing to jewellery design, silversmithing, dry stone walling, glassblowing, textiles and sculpture. Our next application round is open 11 January – 15 February 2021

QEST celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2020 and since 1990 has awarded nearly £5million to 600 individuals working in over 130 different crafts. We define craft broadly and welcome applications from all areas including rural skills, contemporary craft, conservation, luthiery and much more. A directory of all our alumni can be seen on our website, along with more details on how to apply. There are two application rounds each year – in January and July.

Cockpit Arts: Clothworker Awards | Weavers

The successful recipients of Cockpit Arts: The ClothWorkers Awards for 2020 are Alicia Rowbotham, Millie Thomas and Francesca Miotti.

Millie Thomas
After graduating from Central St Martins in 2018, Millie has worked within the woven textiles industry  in Italy, designing for an Italian Weaving Mill and  in London for a heritage woven textiles company.

Millie’s work takes a biomimetic approach, taking inspiration from nature to explore and often replicate its principles through design. Her approach is process led, looking at the inner workings of the
natural world, from the grooves in beetle shells to the structural pleats in dragonfly wings to design from. She uses this inspiration to create bold patterns, 3D textures and elegant structures.

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Dovecot Studio: 21st Century Tapestry | PhD Studentship

21st Century Tapestry: An investigation of smart materials, technology interplay and heritage craftsmanship.

Supported by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH), this studentship offers a unique opportunity to contribute new knowledge and insight within traditional tapestry practice as a structure for smart and e-textile development in partnership with Dovecot Studios and researchers from Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and the University of Edinburgh (UoE).

This project connects Scotland’s world-renowned tapestry studio with pioneering smart textile design researchers from the School of Arts & Creative Industries (ENU), and Edinburgh College of Art (UoE), and draws on established research within the field of craft practice, smart textile design and technology integration with fine art tapestry weaving.

As one of only five tapestry studios in the world, with a legacy of collaboration with world-class artists and architects spanning over a hundred years, the unique knowledge-base, skillset and working environment, and opportunities for public engagement, provide a unique research framework for the studentship.

The PhD project will explore and question how tapestry practice can embrace innovation in smart materials and create a new marketplace and audience for the medium. Specifically, the research will ask, what does a 21st century smart tapestry look like?

How can the integration of technologies be embedded within traditional heritage tapestry practice and exploit new aesthetics? The project will involve practice-based research methodology and experimental prototyping, providing an experimental counterpoint to literature review work. It will also involve working on looms, using electronic components, conductive and state change materials, reflexive analysis of structural and material tapestry components.

Included in the studentship is an 18-month placement at Dovecot, which will allow studio practice and knowledge exchange, workshops and involvement in wider research networks. Continue reading →

Awards : Cockpit Arts | Weavers

Cockpit Arts has two Awards open for application for talented makers to join the Cockpit Arts community in September 2020. Each of these Awards will provide a subsidised or free space to a Maker, and this round has two spaces on an open discipline Award.

The Cockpit Arts / The Clothworkers’ Company Awards

This Award aims to assist three graduate weavers to set up in business. Weavers can be working in any form: for example, creating products, visual art, working with mills and making samples for industry.

The Award comprises one year’s business support and subsidised studio space at Cockpit Arts Deptford, including space in a shared studio equipped with Leclerc, Louet, ARM looms and a dye area, thanks to The Clothworkers’ Company. The Award is for one year with further financial support for up to two years on a sliding scale, by selection.

  • Deadline for applications: 5pm, Friday 31 July 2020

The Cockpit Arts / Newby Trust Craft Excellence Awards

This Award aims to support two makers to practice their craft at a key stage in their skill development and support their craft business to achieve financial sustainability. The Newby Trust Craft Excellence Award offers two makers each year a rare and valued opportunity to develop their craft skill and excellence in any discipline, nurturing both ability and talent.

The Award comprises one year’s business support and subsidised studio space at Cockpit Arts.

  • Deadline for applications: 5pm, Friday 31 July 2020

Further details and application forms are available to download from their website – https://cockpitarts.com/awards-bursaries/, or please contact maxine@cockpitarts.com for further information or to express an interest.

Text: Cockpit Arts. Image Poppy Fuller – Abbot