The Fashion and Textile Design research group conducts wide ranging interdisciplinary research that examines many facets of the design led textile and fashion industries. These range from: fashion and textile design, technical design, pattern cutting, garment production, design production management, accessories, illustration, fashion and textile merchandising, marketing, journalism, photography, styling, image consultation, trend analysis, historical dress and textiles, fashion and textile archives.
Our main aim is to promote and provide expert knowledge through research enquiry into all design areas of fashion and textiles with particular specialisms in garment technology, sustainability, fashion history, culture and ethics.
Aims of the research group
Our main research aims are:
- To deliver a high-quality research environment for students and researchers.
- To create innovative impact activities and research outcomes.
- Offer services to the fashion industry such as: textile testing facilities, digital printing technologies, laser cutting, digital fashion, photography suite, whole garment dyeing, summer schools and CPD courses in various areas of fashion design, manufacture and textiles.
- To encourage collaboration, development of resources and topics into modules and study materials.
- To build upon current and future collaborative networks to develop strategic partnerships with local, regional, national and international non-academics such as businesses, NGOs, archives and museums and other universities.
Work with organisations and initiatives
Yorkshire Fashion Archive
The Textiles and Fashion Design research group is home to the Yorkshire Fashion Archive, a collection of haute couture, fashion garments and everyday clothing and accessories.
It provides a unique historical and cultural record of Yorkshire life and documents clothing produced, purchased and worn by Yorkshire folk throughout the 20th Century. The collection reflects changing social attitudes and influences, economic prosperity, global trends and the regional technical excellence in textiles and clothing over a 100 year period.
International Textile Collection (formerly Ulita)
The International Textile Collection consists of a worldwide collection of textiles, including Chinese Qing dynasty embroideries, Kashmiri shawls, Mediterranean and near eastern embroideries, block-printed cottons from Pakistan, Javanese batiks and ikats, Japanese textiles, West African weaves, 19th and 20th century European textile samples, natural and man-made fibres and glass plate teaching slides.
Archive of International Textiles, previously under of the School of Design, is now integrated with University of Leeds Special Collections and Galleries.
Future Fashion Factory
Future Fashion Factory is a £5.4 million R&D partnership led by exploring and developing new digital and advanced textile technologies to boost the design of high-value creative products. The innovative design and manufacturing advances address the need for increased competitiveness and productivity in luxury fashion designer products by:
- Shortening product development cycles and lead times to increase agility.
- Designing the right product, for the right customer at the right time, reducing waste.
- Shifting from linear to circular economies, reducing waste costs and creating new business models.
- Developing STEAM-based fashion designers capable of exploiting new textile and digital technologies as part of the creative design process.
We currently have several funded projects:
- Microfibre Consortium - The Outdoor Microfibre Consortium (Dr Mark Sumner – PI)
- Pulling a thread: Unravelling the trail of modern slavery in the fashion and textile industry (Dr Mark Sumner – PI)
- Numerion Software/Future Fashion Factory:
- Virtual 3D Garment Draping as a service (Dr Kevin Almond – PI)
- The More, the Merrier! The Effects of Proactive Relationship with Stakeholders after COVID-19 (Dr Mariana Suter – Co-I)
- Encouraging public engagement with textiles waste management (Dr Pammi Sinha – PI)
- Stone Island 3D Weaving Innovation Sportswear Company – SPA Stone Island (Dr Lindsey Taylor PI)
- Influencing the influencers: Accelerating the diffusion of sustainable high fashion clothing (Edel Moore – Co-I)
Examples of academic research previously undertaken in this area include:
- Garment construction and pattern cutting, use of nonwoven fabrics in apparel applications, 19th – 21st Century fashion.
- Colour, structure and materials in knitted fabric design and technology.
- Colour design software development and user experience.
- Sustainable consumption, production, marketing and communications and design for development.
- Social innovation, ethical fashion and other new business models.
- Fashion in fiction.
- Fashion and Textile design Innovation: Modular design, Computer-aid design, Social manufacturing, Laser cutting technology, Digital Fabrication.
- Pedagogical issues regarding innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship in fashion and textiles.
Kevin Almond (Research Group Leader)