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Centre

Fashion and Textile Research Centre

Unit(s) of assessment: Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

School: School of Art & Design

Overview

Fashion and Textiles represents a complex field of research in a global context and as such researchers in this centre focus upon a number of different aspects of the discipline. There are currently six research groups within the centre, focusing on Design, Cultures, Heritage, Business, Clothing Sustainability and Advanced Textiles.

This Centre makes a significant contribution to research within the Nottingham School of Art & Design and to the development of postgraduate researchers.

The Centre is happy to receive email enquiries from prospective students and researchers wishing to undertake research in the aforementioned areas. For all enquiries please contact the Director of the Fashion and Textile Research Centre, Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode.

Design

Research in fashion and textile design is concerned with the development of craft and sustainable based methodological frameworks and systems for investigating and extending the scope of new approaches to craft, design, materials and technologies. Participation through working with diverse communities in a global context and extending the concept of the design process through collaborative, inclusive and sustainable practices challenges the status quo of fashion narratives. To date, this has been achieved by synthesising practical and qualitative methods. Craft and sustainability, therefore, are positioned as both discipline and concept, through investigations that address local and global concerns and seek to manifest the changing role and value of creative production in commercial and community contexts.

Cultures

Research in this area focuses upon global fashion, textiles and dress, as well as the forms and media used to communicate them. The group addresses a wide range of critical and practice-based themes around materials, identities and visual contexts. Fashion and textiles, their production technologies - hand or industrial, their haptic associations, their impact upon our identity and their communication strategies, are intrinsic to our daily human experience and yet their ubiquitous nature belies a complex social, cultural and historical context. Therefore, through exploring this significance, the meaning and value of fashion, textiles and dress as potent symbols of material and visual culture, new understandings are revealed of the values of both ourselves and the global culture we live within.

Heritage

This research group is engaged with questioning how fashion and textile heritage inform our understanding of design and making, business and industry, communities and narratives, education and culture in both historical and contemporary contexts. Our aim is to deepen an understanding of the importance of the fashion and textile industries in forming local, regional and global identities. Through archives – the Lace Archive and Fashion Map – we reflect upon this material culture and utilise it to inform new interpretations and develop contemporary art and design practices. This interrogation of fashion and textile heritage offers new insights into the values of this heritage to contemporary society for future cultural and economic benefit.

Business

This research group is centred on global and interdisciplinary approaches to marketing and design, focusing on brand image and identity in retail stores including the convergence of physical and virtual environments. Consumer behaviour is also a focus of this group and has included attitudes towards product lifetimes in varying domestic and business environments from both consumer and manufacturing perspectives. Sustainability is at the centre of the discussion about fashion and textiles business research from understanding consumer perspectives to communication and branding strategies.

Clothing Sustainability

The Clothing Sustainability Research Group is a multidisciplinary  group which aims to support a more sustainable future for clothing design, consumption, and culture. Members apply theoretical and practical knowledge from design and related disciplines to environmental and social sustainability. In recent years staff have undertaken several research projects on clothing longevity funded by WRAP and Defra, working in close collaboration with leading manufacturers, retailers and brands. One significant output is the Clothing Durability Dozen, an industry toolkit that enables companies to identity what they are doing to make clothes last longer, identify any gaps in their skills and knowledge, and develop innovative approaches tailored to their specific requirements.

Advanced Textiles

The Advanced Textiles Research Group (ATRG) is a world-leading advanced textiles research group with a reputation for designing electronically active wearable technology. Working at the cutting edge of advanced materials across a number of sectors, including fashion, medical, sports, defence and communication applications, their aim is to extend the ability of smart materials to impact on these fields. Their work has led to a number of patents and commercial products.

PhD Funding

Find out everything you need to know about funding your doctoral studies – from tuition fees and loans, to studentships and external funding.

Research Image Gallery

  • Lace Unarchived
    Lace Unarchived exhibition curated by Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode, Bonington Gallery, 2018. (photo: Julian Lister)
  • Shoe and Tell project
    Dr Naomi Braithwaite’s Shoe and Tell project explores the shoe as an object of cultural and individual expression. (photo: Naomi Braithwaite)
  • The Reknit Revolution
    Units of Possibility: The Reknit Revolution exhibition by Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, 2017. (photo: Jamie Grey at Rugby Art Gallery & Museum)
  • Sustaining Cultural Heritage
    British Academy-funded research by Professor Eiluned Edwards, exploring the sustaining of cultural heritage with a focus on the Indian crafts sector.
  • Collaboration with My Sight Nottinghamshire
    Textile Design students working with people who are visually impaired in a project led by Dr Kevin Hunt in collaboration with My Sight Nottinghamshire.
  • Knitted-mesh reflector
    Novel metal knitted-mesh reflector surface for deployable space antennas for satellites by Advanced Textiles Research Group.
  • Cool Shades: The History and Meaning of Sunglasses
    By Dr Vanessa Brown (Bloomsbury, 2014).
  • Flashing shoelaces
    Flashing shoelaces created to improve the safety of joggers and cyclists at night by the Advanced Textiles Research Group.
  • The Leavers process
    AHRC-funded research led by Professor Tom Fisher, working with the last remaining machine-lace manufacturer in England using the Leavers process. (photo: Julie Botticello/Cluny Lace)
  • The Clothing Durability Dozen Toolkit
    The Clothing Durability Dozen Toolkit by the Clothing Sustainability Research group offers strategies to improve design and testing for clothing longevity.
  • Synthetic blood vessels
    Synthetic blood vessels developed in the Advanced Textiles Research Group's Flexural Composites Research Laboratory (photo: Richard Arm)
  • NTU Lace Archive
    The Nottingham Trent University Lace Archive includes 75,000 items of lace, which have been acquired from bequests by local companies and the Nottingham Lace Federation.
  • Crafting Anatomies
    Crafting Anatomies exhibition curated by Dr Katherine Townsend, Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode and Rhian Solomon, Bonington Gallery, 2015. (photo: Julian Lister)
  • Sustaining cultural heritage
    British Academy-funded research by Professor Eiluned Edwards, exploring the sustaining of cultural heritage with a focus on the Indian crafts sector.
  • Emotional Fit research project
    Participant and researchers in the Emotional Fit co-creative research project led by Dr Katherine Townsend.

Publications

Design

TOWNSEND, K., SOLOMON, R. and BRIGGS-GOODE, A., 2020. Crafting anatomies: archives, dialogues, fabrications.London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

FISHER, T. and TONUK, D., 2020. Material processuality: alternative grounds for design research. Design and Culture, 12 (2), 119-139.

SHERCLIFF, E. and TWIGGER HOLROYD, A., 2020. Stitching together: participatory textile making as an emerging methodological approach to research. Journal of Arts and Communities, 10 (1-2), pp. 5-18.

TOWNSEND, K. and SADKOWSKA, A., 2018. Textiles as material Gestalt: cloth as a catalyst in the co-designing process.Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice, 5 (2), pp. 1-24.

TOWNSEND, K., 2017. Emotional Fit: Fashion Salon. Developing a new fashion methodology with mature women. Antenna, Nottingham, 26 April 2017.

TWIGGER HOLROYD, A., 2017. Folk fashion: understanding homemade clothes. London: I.B.Tauris.

Cultures

EDWARDS, E., 2020. Textiles in bloom: block-print revival and contemporary fashion in Northwestern India. In: S. FEE and S. BECKERT, eds., The cloth that changed the world: the art and fashion of Indian chintz. Newhaven: Yale University Press.

HUNT, K. and HAMBLIN, F., 2020. 'Materials in motion': using film as a method for exploring material properties. In: L. CAMPBELL, ed., Leap into action: critical performative pedagogies in art & design education. New York: Peter Lang.

BRAITHWAITE, N., 2018. Fashion, fantasy, power and mystery: interpreting shoes through the lens of visual culture. In: N. MCCREESH and F. CARLOTTO, eds., Engaging with fashion: perspectives on communication, education and business. At the interface / Probing the boundaries . Leiden: Brill | Rodopi, pp. 205-216. ISBN 9789004382428

BROWN, V., 2018. Cool, sunglasses and the modern woman: icons of the 1960s. Film, Fashion & Consumption, 7 (2), pp. 97-114.

HUNT, K.J., 2018. Eyes, sight and the senses on film and in fashion: crossmodal correspondences and sensorial empathy between Lars von Trier's Dancer in the dark (2000) and Johan Ku's "Selma" collection s/s (2014). Fashion Theory, 22 (1), pp. 31-67.

EDWARDS, E., 2016. Block printed textiles of India: imprints of culture. New Delhi: Niyogi Books.

Heritage

BRIGGS-GOODE, A., OUTTRAM, T. and DEAN, D., 2021. Heritage and conservation of Nottingham lace through collaboration. Developing partnerships through museums, community, industry and education. FORMakademisk, 14 (2), pp. 1-16.

COLES, R., BRIGGS-GOODE, A. and BAXTER, G., 2020. Principles and pilfering: Nottingham lace design pedagogy. Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, 18 (1), pp. 12-23.

BRIGGS-GOODE, A. and BAXTER, G., 2020. The archived lace body: contemporary artist designer responses. In: K. TOWNSEND, R. SOLOMON and A. BRIGGS-GOODE, eds., Crafting anatomies: archives, dialogues, fabrications. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

BRAITHWAITE, N., 2019. Fashionmap: situating style in a shifting landscape. In: L. PETICAN, ed., Fashion and contemporaneity: realms of the visible. At the interface/probing the boundaries (102). Leiden: Brill, Rodopi, pp. 42-68.

BRIGGS-GOODE, A., 2018. Lace Unarchived. Bonington Gallery, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, 23 February - 29 March 2018.

FISHER, T. and BOTTICELLO, J., 2016. Machine-made lace, the spaces of skilled practices and the paradoxes of contemporary craft production.Cultural Geographies, 25 (1),pp. 49-69.

Business

ALEXANDER, B. and KENT, A., 2020. Change in technology-enabled omnichannel customer experiences in-store. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services: 102338.

ST. JOHN-JAMES, A. and KENT, A., 2019. Clothing sustainability and upcycling in Ghana. Fashion Practice, 11 (3), pp. 375-396.

SIREGAR, Y. and KENT, A.M., 2019. Consumer experience of interactive technology in fashion stores. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 47 (12), pp. 1318-1335.

TOWNSEND, K., KENT, A. and SADKOWSKA, A., 2019. Fashioning clothing with and for mature women: a small-scale sustainable design business model. Management Decision, 57 (1), pp. 3-20.

KENT, A.M., WINFIELD, S. and SHI, C., 2018. Commercialisation and the authenticity of vintage fashion. In: D. RYDING, C. HENNINGER and M. BLAZQUEZ CANO, eds., Vintage luxury fashion: exploring the rise of the second-hand clothing trade. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

BRAITHWAITE, N. and SCHLEMANN, A., 2018. Product service systems: a viable business model for fashion brands? In: C. BECKER-LEIFHOLD and M. HEUER, eds., Eco-friendly and fair: fast fashion and consumer behavior. Sustainability in textiles. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 132-143.

Clothing Sustainability

CLAXTON, S. and KENT, A., 2020. The management of sustainable fashion design strategies: an analysis of the designer's role. Journal of Cleaner Production, 268: 122112.

GOWOREK, H., OXBORROW, L., CLAXTON, S., COOPER, T.H., HILL, H. and MCLAREN, A., 2020. Managing sustainability in the fashion business: challenges in product development for clothing longevity in the UK. Journal of Business Research, 117, pp. 629-641.

HARDY, D., WICKENDEN, R. and MCLAREN, A., 2020. Electronic textile reparability. Journal of Cleaner Production: 124328.

SUNG, K., COOPER, T., OEHLMANN, J., SINGH, J. and MONT, O., 2020. Multi-stakeholder perspectives on scaling up UK fashion upcycling businesses. Fashion Practice 12(3), pp. 331-350.

SINGH, J., SUNG, K., COOPER, T., WEST, K. and MONT, O., 2019. Challenges and opportunities for scaling up upcycling businesses – the case of textile and wood upcycling businesses in the UK. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 150: 104439.

SUNG, K., COOPER, T. and KETTLEY, S., 2019. Developing interventions for scaling up UK upcycling. Energies, 12 (14): 2778.

Advanced Textiles

RAHEMTULLA, Z., HUGHES-RILEY, T. and DIAS, T., 2021. Vibration-sensing electronic yarns for the monitoring of hand transmitted vibrations. Sensors, 21 (8): 2780.

SATHARASINGHE, A., HUGHES-RILEY, T. and DIAS, T., 2020. A review of solar energy harvesting electronic textiles. Sensors, 20 (20): 5938.

HUGHES-RILEY, T., JOBLING, P., DIAS, T. and FAULKNER, S.H., 2020. An investigation of temperature-sensing textiles for temperature monitoring during sub-maximal cycling trials. Textile Research Journal, 91(5-6), pp. 624-645.

HUGHES-RILEY, T., OLIVEIRA, C. and DIAS, T., 2019. A knitted multi-junction pressure sensor that uses electrical resistance to determine the applied pressure: development and characterization. Proceedings, 32 (1): 3.

KOMOLAFE, A., TORAH, R., WEI, Y., NUNES‐MATOS, H., LI, M., HARDY, D., DIAS, T., TUDOR, M. and BEEBY, S., 2019.Integrating flexible filament circuits for e‐textile applications. Advanced Materials Technologies, 4 (7): 1900176.

SATHARASINGHE, A., HUGHES-RILEY, T. and DIAS, T., 2018. Photodiodes embedded within electronic textiles. Scientific Reports, 8 (1): 16205.

Media Coverage

‘Surgeons can practise on a sliver of liver created on a 3D printer,’ The Telegraph, profiling the innovative work of Richard Arm, 14 June 2021.

‘Reknit Revolution,’ Blueprint for Living, ABC Radio National featuring Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd, 27 February 2021.

‘LED shoelaces can guide you home in a flash,’ The Times, profiling light up shoelaces developed by the Advanced Textiles Research Group and QinetiQ, 6 January 2021.

‘Cool,’Thinking Allowed, BBC Radio 4 featuring Dr Vanessa Brown, 23 October 2019.

‘Why fast fashion should slow down,’ Guardian Science Weekly podcast featuring Professor Tim Cooper, 12 April 2019.

‘We asked older women what they want from fashion – here’s why the industry needs to listen,’ Dr Katherine Townsend and Dr Ania Sadkowska, The Conversation, 8 February 2018.

Films

‘E-yarns’: showreel of projects created by the Advanced Textiles Research Group, led by Professor Tilak Dias.

‘Emotional Fit’: short film of the Emotional Fit project led by Dr Katherine Townsend, addressing what older women want from fashion.

‘Stitching Together’: profile of research network exploring participatory textile making in research and practice, led by Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd.

‘Twisthands at the deadstop: Recording and understanding a technology – machine lace making’: made at the East Midland’s last remaining lace factory, Cluny Lace, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, narrated by Professor Tom Fisher.

Related staff

Doctoral Candidates

Achala Satharasinghe – Development of solar energy harvesting textiles

Bethan Pagett - Natural dyeing in contemporary craft cultures

Cristina Cook - Smart e-textiles - innovation, personalisation and consumption

Elsa Ball - Negotiating fashionable identity through hair and the salon: implications for sustainability and fashion

Emily Rickard - Exploring the use of creative, open-ended knitting as a form of journaling to record emotions, with consideration for mental well-being

Francesca Stocco - Beyond the tourist trinket: reviving textile crafts through modern technology & design

Jureepon Lueakha - An exploration of sustainability for interior design practice of fashion brands in Thailand

Lisa Shawgi - Supporting women living with a disability, specifically Raynaud’s phenomenon, through knitted textile developments

Matholo Kgatuke – Woven light: developing wearable illuminated materials through textile design practice

Nichola Burton - Women and lace: social change and design education in post-war Nottingham

Nishadi Perera - The development of an electronic textile that can measure pressure

Nour Nashed - Encapsulating soldered electronic components for electronically functional yarn

Pam Brook - Modernism and the swimsuit

Richard Arm - Development of polymer-based, soft-tissue surrogate membranes

Rose Marroncelli - The emotional durability of fast fashion: a gendered analysis

Sally Cooke - Home clothes construction in the context of sustainable fashion: design strategies for promoting the development and application of basic sewing skills

Sonia Reynolds - Development of a novel fabric manufacturing method for design practice

Tonya Outtram  - Textile workers in the East Midlands (1980-2005)

Zahra Rahemtulla - Development of electronic textiles for near fall and fall detection

Related projects

Craft Research journal (Dr Katherine Townsend)

Fashion Fictions (Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd)

Manufacturing Electronic Yarns (Advanced Textiles Research Group)

Reknit Revolution (Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd)

Shoe and Tell (Dr Naomi Braithwaite)

Stitching Together (Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd)

Textile Tales (Professor Tom Fisher & Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode)