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Fashion and Textile Research Centre

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

School: School of Art & Design


Research in the Fashion and Textile Research Centre is creative, critical and courageous.

Working across three interconnecting research groups and drawing on an array of creative, technical and theoretical expertise, our boundary-crossing researchers generate new understandings of past, present and future fashion and textile systems.

The Fashion and Textile Research Centre makes a significant contribution to research within Nottingham School of Art & Design and to the university-wide research themes. We are happy to receive email enquiries from prospective collaborators and postgraduate research students. For all enquiries please contact the Director of the Fashion and Textile Research Centre, Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode.

Header image: The 'Gown of Care' created by Cunnington & Sanderson, part of the AHRC-funded Redesigning PPE project led by Professor Katherine Townsend. Stylists: Safia Ismail & Lottie Blankstone.

The Cultures & Heritage group studies the values, meanings and associations carried by fashion and textiles in the past and the present, as well as the senses and media we use to engage with them. We address the significance of specific fashion objects, aesthetics, behaviours, education and industries as well as broader forms of inclusion, exclusion, distinction, consumption and making, generating knowledge that informs personal, local, regional and global identities and the development of more sustainable ways of life. Through archives – including our own Lace Archive and FashionMap – we develop a critical relationship with our heritage, exploring how design, education, and industry inform and create vital insights for the future.

The Sustainable Transitions group investigates diverse pathways toward sustainable fashion and textile systems, from industry-facing initiatives to practice-based design research and speculative explorations. We are driven by an awareness of the social and environmental impacts of the fashion and textile industry and the urgency of the climate and ecological emergency. We work in collaboration with manufacturers, retailers and brands, with academic partners, and with communities in local and global settings. Across varied lines of enquiry, we create opportunities to foster meaningful real-world change.

The Advanced Textiles Research Group (ATRG) undertakes world-leading research in advanced textiles, with activities spanning textile technology, flexural composites, electronic textiles, electronic yarns, material engineering, sustainable textiles and smart composites. Our cutting-edge work spans a number of sectors, including fashion, medical, sports, defence and communication applications, and has generated several patents and commercial products. We work with consideration for human wellbeing and sustainability, addressing pressing issues through technical ingenuity and design-led exploration.

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, 83% of our research in Art and Design was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent in terms of research impact.

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


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

BRAITHWAITE, N., 2021. These shoes were made for talking: documenting identity through the lens of footwear. International Journal of the Image, 12 (2), pp. 45-64.

BRAITHWAITE, N. and NG, C., 2023. Fashioning change: exploring attitudes and behaviours towards sustainable consumption amongst fashion students in Nottingham, UK and Hong Kong. In:  Rethinking Waste Through Design. Australia: Intellect.

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.​

BRIGGS-GOODE, A., OUTTRAM, T. and DEAN, D., 2022. Lace legacies: how partnerships enhance understanding of craft and heritage. Craft Research, 13 (2), pp. 367-386

BROWN, V., 2021. Is coolness still cool? Journal for Cultural Research.

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.

HUNT, K.J., 2023. Noise, ecological crises, and the posthuman sensibility of Michel Serres in Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies.

MARRONCELLI, R. and BRAITHWAITE, N., 2022. #insta-fashion: how the digital revolution has affected celebrity culture and the British fashion retail landscape. Fashion Practice, 14 (1), pp. 124-150.

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

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.​

HUNT, K., ANNA, P. and WORKER, G., 2020. The importance of sensorial empathy and the language of touch when crafting textiles for people who are visually impaired. Craft Research, 11 (1), pp. 57-77.

PIPER, A., TOWNSEND, K. and JABUR, L., 2023. Resilience, resourcefulness and creativity: learning from the diversification of Guatemalan artisans during the pandemic to sustain textile traditions. Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice.

ŠTERMAN, S., TOWNSEND, K., SALTER, E. and HARRIGAN, K., 2022. Surveying healthcare workers to improve the design, wearer experience and sustainability of PPE isolation gowns. Strojniški vestnik - Journal of Mechanical Engineering, 68 (4), pp. 252-264.

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.

TOWNSEND, K., PRINCE, E., ESCOTT, A. and BARKER, G., 2023. NTU X Emmanuel House: developing a responsible design practice with fashion students and service users. In: R. EARLEY and R. HORNBUCKLE, eds., Design materials and making for social change: from materials we explore to materials we wear. Design Research for Change. New York: Routledge, pp. 102-123.

​TOWNSEND, K. and SADKOWSKA, A., 2020. Re-making fashion experience: a model for ‘participatory research through clothing design’. Journal of Arts and Communities, 11 (1-2), pp. 13-33.

​​TWIGGER HOLROYD, A., 2023. Fashion Fictions. In: L. GARDNER and D. MOHAJER VA PESARAN, eds., Radical fashion exercises: a workbook of modes and methods. Amsterdam: Valiz.

TWIGGER HOLROYD, A., GORDON, J. F. & HILL, C., 2023. Historical Perspectives on Sustainable Fashion: Inspiration for Change (second edition). London: Bloomsbury. ​

ABEYWICKRAMA, N., KGATUKE, M., MARASINGHE, K., NASHED, M.N., OLIVEIRA, C., SHAHIDI, A.M., DIAS, T. and HUGHES-RILEY, T., 2023. The design and development of woven textile solar panels. Materials, 16 (11): 4129.

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

HUGHES-RILEY, T., HILL-CASEY, F., OLIVEIRA, C., SHAHIDI, A., HURLEY, W. and DIAS, T., 2020. Understanding the design rules for a nonintrusive, textile, heart rate monitoring system. Digital Medicine, 5 (4), p. 162.

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.

ISLAM, M.R., AFROJ, S. and KARIM, N., 2023. Scalable production of 2D material heterostructure textiles for high-performance wearable supercapacitors. ACS Nano 17 (18), 18481-18493.

ISLAM, M.R., AFROJ, S. YIN, J.,  NOVOSELOV, K.S., CHEN, J. and KARIM, N., 2023. Advances in printed electronic textiles. Advanced Science, 2304140.

LUGODA, P., HAYES, S.C., HUGHES-RILEY, T., TURNER, A., MARTINS, M.V., COOK, A., RAVAL, K., OLIVEIRA, C., BREEDON, P. and DIAS, T., 2022. Classifying gait alterations using an instrumented smart sock and deep learning. IEEE Sensors.

MOGHADDASSIAN SHAHIDI, A., HUGHES-RILEY, T., OLIVEIRA, C. and DIAS, T., 2021. An investigation of the physical and electrical properties of knitted electrodes when subjected to multi-axial compression and abrasion. Proceedings, 68 (1): 2.ISSN 0035-9211

RAHEMTULLA, Z., TURNER, A., OLIVEIRA, C., KANER, J., DIAS, T. and HUGHES-RILEY, T., 2023. The design and engineering of a fall and near-fall detection electronic textile. Materials, 16 (5): 1920.

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

Media Coverage

‘The meaning behind the Met Gala: fashion’s biggest night out’, Research Reimagined podcast, interviewing Dr Naomi Braithwaite and Dr Vanessa Brown, 2 May 2023​.

Woman’s Hour, BBC Radio 4 featuring Dr Vanessa Brown discussing ‘Clustercore’, 13 April 2023​.

‘Smart-sock that can tell elderly person has taken a fall’, The Telegraph, profiling the near-fall detection electronic textile developed by Dr Theodore Hughes-Riley, and Zahra Rahemtulla of the Advanced Textiles Research Group, 17 March 2023​.

‘Clothing embedded with thousands of tiny solar panels could harness the sun’s energy to charge mobile phones and smartwatches’, The Daily Mail,  profiling textiles with solar panels developed by the Advanced Textiles Research Group, led by Dr Theodore Hughes-Riley​, 13 October 2022.

‘WHAT THE MUCK? Teens keep their trainers dirty to impress friends and show off life experiences such as muddy music festivals’, The Sun, featuring the project ‘The Graduation Shoes Project: A Celebration of Style and Identity’ of Dr Naomi Braithwaite, 31 December 2021. ​

‘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.​


E-yarns: showreel of projects created by the Advanced Textiles Research Group, led by Dr Theo Hughes-Riley​.

E-yarns Manufacturing: video presenting the e-yarn manufacturing process developed by the Advanced Textiles Research Group, led by Dr Theo Hughes-Riley​.

Trying it On: short film of the Emotional Fit project led by Professor Katherine Townsend, addressing what older women want from fashion​.

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.​

Fashion Fictions: overview of the project led by Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd​ which brings people together to imagine, explore and enact fictional fashion systems.

Crafting Textiles through the Covid Crisis: short film of a exploring artisanal textile production in Guatemala, led by Professor Katherine Townsend.

Related staff

Dr Gail Baxter

Dr Jennifer Bell

Jayne Childs

Sally Cooke

Matholo Kgatuke

Dr Rose Marroncelli

Dr Zahra Rahemtulla

Dr Leanne Tonkin

Doctoral Candidates

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

Pam Brook - Modernism and the swimsuit

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

Tamsin Johnson - New Woman in Nottingham: cycling, fashion and feminism (1885-1925)

Tonya Outtram - Challenging the deindustrialisation narrative: East Midlands textile workers (1980-2005)

Uthra Raigopal - Decolonising UK university fashion and textile archives: locating South Asia

Francesca Stocco - From kitchen to Christie’s: a critical evaluation of the role of cultural intermediaries in the resurgence of fibre art and textiles in the art market

Leanne Tonkin - Conserving 'designer intent': a postconservation methodology towards collecting, curating and exhibiting fashion artefacts made with postmodern materials

Chen Zhang - Exploring the strategy of luxury marketing communication through Chinese social media: a case study of WeChat in mainland China

Yichi (Eden) Zhang - Interactive fashion stores

Megha Chauhan - Co-Exploring Nature and Fashion’s Relationship Through Collective Crafting

Sally Cooke - Material Encounters: fashion sustainability examined through beginners’ experiences of learning to sew clothes at home

Katie Furmston - Furniture Lifetimes in the Circular Economy

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

Rose Marroncelli - The emotional durability of fast fashion: male and female perspectives

Beth Pagett - Natural dyeing in contemporary craft cultures

Emily Rickard - KnitWell: Exploring creative, open-ended knitting as a form of journaling to record emotions, with consideration for mental wellbeing

Lisa Shawgi - Exploring ‘lived experiences’ of women with Raynaud’s Syndrome to inform fashionable knitwear designs that support agency and wellbeing through material experience

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

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

Parvin Ebrahimi - Designing, fabricating, and implementing the power regulation electronics for solar e-textiles

Malindu Galdeniye Pahalagedara - The design and integration of haptic feedback into electronic textiles

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

Tharushi Peiris - The development of optical sensing systems embedded within textile structures

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

Zahra Rahemtulla – Electronic textile garments for fall and near-fall detection

Key staff

Related projects

Craft Research journal – Professor Katherine Townsend

Crafting the Commons – Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd

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

Textile Traditions - Future Fabrications – Professor Katherine Townsend