Fashion and Textile Research Centre 2

Fashion and Textile Research Centre

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


Fashion and Textiles represents a complex field of research practiced in a global context. Researchers in this Centre focus on a number of different aspects of the discipline including: culture, heritage, design, business and innovation, as reflected and encompassed by the following five research groups:

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

Fashion and Textile Heritage: This research group is engaged with questioning how fashion and textile heritage informs our understanding of design and making, business and industry, communities and narratives, and education and culture in both historical and contemporary contexts. Our aim is to deepen 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 to develop contemporary art and design practices. This interrogation of fashion and textile heritage offers new insights into its values in contemporary society for future cultural and economic benefit.

Fashion and Textile Design: Research in fashion and textile design is concerned with the development of sustainable, craft based methodological frameworks and systems for investigating and extending the scope of new approaches to design, materials and technologies. Working with diverse local and global communities, the group aims to extend the design and making process through collaborative, inclusive and sustainable practices that challenge established fashion narratives. To date, this has been achieved by synthesising practical and epistemological methods. Craft and sustainability, therefore, are positioned as both discipline and concept, through investigations that address human and environmental concerns and seek to manifest the changing role and value of creative production within individual, community and commercial contexts.

Fashion and Textile 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.

Advanced Textiles Research: 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.

This Centre makes a significant contribution to research within the School and to the development of PhD students.

The group, through the email contact below is happy to receive email enquiries from prospective students and researchers wishing to undertake research in the aforementioned areas, as well as those mentioned under individual research staff.

For all enquiries please contact the Research Group Leader, Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode.


PhD Studentships

We’re offering fully-funded PhD studentships aligned with our research centres for UK, EU or International students. Find out more about our PhD studentships.

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