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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

Identity Launch: ReWeave | Here Design | London Craft Week

ReWeave: Textile Waste Transformed

ReWeave is a novel approach to exploring how fabric waste can be transformed into design-led woven textiles on an industrial scale to meet the increasing demand for circularity in designing fashion and textiles.

Led by textile designer Kirsty McDougall, ReWeave is a Hastings-based design studio specialising in woven textiles and product, and supported by the BFTT. The project intends to develop a viable business model for a more circular approach to design and fabrication, and to analyse the environmental impact of repurposing fabrics at an industrial scale.

By exploring new models of textile design, ReWeave aspires to serve as a blueprint for ideas about reuse and repurposing for manufacturers and brands, spearheading industry change.

ReWeave will be at the Hoxton Gallery to launch their new identity created by Here and Kirsty will talk about the processes and ideas behind ReWeave and their collaboration.

Event: Sat 9th Oct 2021
Time: 11.30 – 12.30
Venue: Hoxton Gallery, 17 Marlow Workshops, Arnold Circus, Shoreditch. London E2 7JN
What3words: extend.union.motor
Tickets: To book event click here

Instagram:
@re_weave_
@heredesign

With thanks to ReWeave & Here for text and images

Event: British Textile Biennial 21

British Textile Biennial 2021 returns this year with new artist commissions, exhibitions and performances presented against the backdrop of the impressive infrastructure of the cotton industry in Pennine Lancashire. The Biennial runs from the 1st – 31st Oct 2021

This October, BTB21 turns its attention to the global nature of textiles and the relationships they create, both historically and now, with a major new commission by Turner Prize winner Lubaina Himid, fashion historian Amber Butchart as guest curator, a groundbreaking and  sustainable fashion project with designer Patrick Grant and a collaboration with artist James Fox and actor Maxine Peake. The final element of the programme is announced with C.P. Company Cinquanta, a retrospective of the Italian Sportswear company’s 50th anniversary.

In line with celebrations for the brand’s 50th anniversary, C.P. Company will be taking part in the British Textile Biennial 2021 programme, presenting a retrospective dedicated to five decades of Italian Sportswear, and Massimo Osti’s lasting legacy. Taking place in Darwen, Lancashire, from 1 – 10 October, the display will feature exclusive C.P. Company archive pieces from throughout the label’s illustrious history.

An arrangement of activities will run alongside this exhibition, including student workshops and panel talks, which will include speakers from the brand, as well as respected names in sportswear and casual culture.

With an abiding interest in the history of textiles within both an African and European context, Turner Prize winner, Lubaina Himid will present a major new work responding to the Gawthorpe Textile Collection in Burnley, exploring the histories of industrialisation, female labour, migration and globalisation in the Great Barn at Gawthorpe Hall.

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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 →

Holly McQuillan: Weaving Multimorphic Textile-Forms


When Holly McQuillan began her PhD almost 5 years ago, she knew very little about the process of weaving or its potential to transform her research practice, which was primarily form-focused in the context of zero waste fashion design and pattern cutting. However, her experience at the Department of Design in the Swedish School of Textiles provided access to exciting technology and skillful colleagues, and combined with her inherent curiosity to lead to a body of research that operates at the boundary between weave thinking and form thinking, helping to grow the emerging field of textile-form (or 3D) weaving.

Holly came to weaving through her experience consulting with industry and researching zero waste design practices and pattern cutting. Like weaving, zero waste garment design is inherently an ancient practice that values textiles first and foremost. In contrast the fashion industry values speed and cost first. As McQuillan discovered during one of her PhD case studies, the industry would rather waste 4km of virgin textiles (on a single style and size for a season!), than add a single seam. In response, Holly’s research began to explore alternative systems of garment and form creation, coming to focus on textile-form weaving, which, like 3D (seamless and fully fashioned) knitting, enables the simultaneous and on-demand creation of textile and form.

The majority of 3D woven garments have been developed by textile designers, so Holly was interested to explore the potential of applying a zero waste form-making lens to the design of weave-able 3D forms. Beginning with simple t-shirt forms (one shown below), the experiments in McQuillan’s PhD, “Zero Waste Systems Thinking: Multimorphic Textile-forms”, progressively build a foundation of the textile-form thinking skills needed to construct these complex topologies.

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Job Opportunity: BFTT | ReWeave R&D Project Lead

ReWeave R&D Project Lead  is an exciting opportunity for a Postgraduate or Post-Doctoral Researcher (or equivalent demonstrable industry/research experience) to work as the Research & Development (R&D) Project Lead to facilitate a collaborative project with ReWeave – a woven textile studio based in London and Hastings that has been awarded funding within the BFTT R&D SME Support Programme.

The aim of the project is to develop R&D around sustainable woven textile design and manufacture using industry waste fabrics.

The role involves working collaboratively with Academic Mentors from the Centre for Circular Design and Textile Futures Research Community at University of the Arts London and the Company Lead at the Reweave Ltd.

You can find more information about the role here.

Instagram:@re_weave_

With thanks to BFTT and Kirsty McDougall for text & images

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Weave Designer Profile: Graysha Audren | Founder – Weffan

Weffan

Fully Fashioned 3D Woven Garments

Inspired by the possibilities of new textile technology to sustainably redesign fashion production systems, textile designer Graysha Audren, founded Weffan to revolutionise the way clothes are made. Weffan creates fully-fashioned 3D woven garments, produced in one step, engineered on an automated jacquard loom. 3D weaving whole garments on the loom means the fabric and the garment are woven at the same time to shorten production steps, minimise fabric and resource waste, and build a more dynamic, transparent manufacturing supply chain.

With its 3D weaving garment technology, Weffan aims to align fashion industry incentives with sustainability goals through manufacturing efficiency resulting in cost-effectiveness.
To this end, Weffan uses existing loom technology, making sustainable manufacturing accessible, for the biggest positive impact.

Weffan’s first research project Loom-State: 3D Woven Garments, focuses on trousers, since solving for the complexity in sizing, fit, materials, and recyclability of this garment is transferable to most other clothing. The Loom-State trouser prototypes are woven in the Netherlands by EE Exclusives, a leading jacquard mill.

The continued research and development of a 3D woven trouser will ultimately lead to a full garment production system aimed at limiting pre-consumer waste, eliminating overproduction, and responding more accurately to demand.

Weffan’s low cost of adoption could support near-shore manufacturing to the UK, lowering a garment’s carbon footprint even further and reducing the risk of supply chain interruption on labour and business.

You can follow Weffan’s progress on instagram @wef.fan
For comments or questions, you can email Weffan

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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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Woven Textile Designer: Milou Voorwinden

Milou Voorwinden is a woven textile designer based in the Netherlands. She graduated from the product design department of ArtEZ University of Arts in Arnhem in 2016.

Voorwinden currently runs her own textile design and research studio and works as a jacquard designer and product developer at EE Exclusives.

She specialises in weaving three-dimensional structures and one-piece woven products on the loom. Voorwinden is inspired by traditional weaving techniques and aims to rediscover, renew and apply the techniques in an innovative way using contemporary digital tools.

The Space Between
The Space Between explores the creation and application of knitted and woven spacer fabrics. The project is a collaboration between Milou Voorwinden, Suzanne Oude Hengel and  the Functional Textiles Unit at Eurecat in Spain. By working alongside the machines and closely with the technicians Francesc Mañosa and Francesc Pera of Eurecat, Oude Hengel and Voorwinden are able to engineer each step of the process, allowing for functionalities to be built directly into the fabric Continue reading →