Amy Twigger Holroyd

Amy Twigger Holroyd

Associate Professor

School of Art & Design

Staff Group(s)
Fashion, knitwear and textile design

Role

Amy is an Associate Professor in the Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear department of the School of Art & Design. Her role involves leading and participating in research projects at the intersection of fashion, making, design and sustainability. She is element leader for BA final year research projects, contributes to MA teaching and supervises PhD students.

Career overview

After studying for a BA and MA in fashion and textile design, Amy launched her experimental knitwear label, Keep & Share, in 2004. She sold her knitwear nationally and internationally and received a number of awards, including the Crafts Council Development Award. Her work has been featured in many publications, from Vogue to Fashion Theory; in books including Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys by Kate Fletcher, The Culture of Knitting by Jo Turney, and Knitting: Fashion, Industry, Craft by Sandy Black; and in UK and international exhibitions.

Amy studied for a PhD at Birmingham City University from 2010 to 2013. Entitled Folk Fashion: Amateur Re-knitting as a Strategy for Sustainability, this work utilised a participatory workshop-based methodology to generate new insights about experiences of making, remaking and fashion. The research formed the basis of her first book, Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothespublished by I.B.Tauris in 2017.

From 2014 to 2016 Amy was a postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, working on the AHRC-funded Design Routes project. This research explored how design can make a meaningful contribution in revitalising culturally significant designs, products and practices to make them relevant to the needs of people today. A co-edited book, Design Roots: Culturally Significant Designs, Products, and Practices, was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2018.

Since joining NTU in 2016 Amy has co-edited a second book,Fashion Knitwear Design. The chapters are written by the team of specialists who deliver the university’s highly respected fashion knitwear design courses.

Research areas

Through her research, Amy aims to question the seemingly inextricable link between fashion and consumption and contribute to the development of alternative, more open models of fashion activity. She is currently developing a new project, Fashion Fictions, which imagines enticing and sustainable alternative fashion worlds and seeks to develop productive connections between fashion theory and sustainability.

Amy is Principal Investigator of Crafting the Commons, an AHRC-fundednetwork that creatively interrogates intersections between contemporary concepts of the commons and 'disruptive' craft initiatives – community-oriented activities which radically challenge the structures of industrial production and consumer culture – in order to cross-fertilise design and commons scholarship and influence future practical activity. It will inform the development of a major touring exhibition by Craftspace, an Arts Council-funded organisation which works to demonstrate the progressive role of craft in civil society.

She is also Co-Investigator of Stitching Together, an AHRC-funded network that aims to develop improved critical understandings of participatory textile making as an emerging methodological approach to research by creating a sustainable network of researchers, project commissioners, professional textile practitioners and enthusiast maker groups. It will establish critical dialogue around participatory textile making methods, collate examples of best practice and argue for their value in research.

Amy’s ongoing initiative Reknit Revolution, which emerged from her PhD research, supports knitters to rework the items in their wardrobes. This work was showcased at a major solo exhibition at Rugby Museum & Art Gallery in 2017.

Amy supervises three PhD students:

  • Director of Studies: Sally Cooke, ‘Home clothes construction in the context of sustainable fashion’, Midlands4 Cities PhD studentship (2019-2023)
  • Director of Studies: Emily Rickard,‘KnitWell: exploring the transformative power of creative knitting as a new model of craft therapy’, Midlands4Cities PhD studentship (2019-2023)
  • Secondsupervisor: Samantha Topley, ‘Craft-Focused Electronic Instrument Building’, Midlands3Cities PhD studentship (2017–2022)

Amy welcomes enquiries from people interested in research collaboration or PhD supervision.

External activity

  • Board member, Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion(2019–)
  • External examiner, PhD examinations (2019–)
  • External examiner, MA Fashion Futures, London College of Fashion (2018-2022)
  • External examiner, MA Textiles / MA Surface Pattern, University of Wales Trinity St David (2017-2021)
  • Peer reviewer (journals): Craft ResearchFashion PracticeJournal of Textile Design, Research and Practice /Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education
  • Peer reviewer (conferences): Research Through DesignCulture Costume and Dress/Cumulus
  • Peer reviewer, Bloomsbury Academic book proposals
  • Invited presentations since 2006 including Tricky Design: Design Ethics for a Complex World, Design Museum, London / With For About: Art and Democracy, Heart of Glass, St Helens / Creative Networkslecture series, Leeds Arts University / Craft Futures seminar series, Northumbria University
  • Member, Design Research Society (2010–)

Sponsors and collaborators

Publications

Books

Twigger Holroyd, A. (2017). Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothes. London: I.B.Tauris.

Twigger Holroyd, A. & Hill, H. (eds) (2019). Fashion Knitwear Design. Marlborough: Crowood Press.

Walker, S., Evans, M., Cassidy, T., Jung, J. & Twigger Holroyd, A. (eds) (2018). Design Roots: Culturally Significant Designs, Products, and Practices. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Selected journal articles

Twigger Holroyd, A. (2018).  Reknit revolution: knitwear design for the domestic circular economy. Journal of Textile Design Research & Practice 6(1), pp.89–111.]

Twigger Holroyd, A. (2018). Finding distinctiveness in the dustbin: engendering a sense of place through waste. The Journal of Resourcefulness 1, pp.70–9.]

Twigger Holroyd, A., Cassidy, T., Evans, M. & Walker, S. (2017). Wrestling with tradition: revitalising the Orkney chair and other culturally significant crafts. Design & Culture 9(3), pp.283–99.]

Twigger Holroyd, A. (2017). From stitch to society: a multi-level and participatory approach to design research. Design Issues 33(3), pp.11-24.

Selected book chapters

Twigger Holroyd, A. (2018). Forging new futures: cultural significance, revitalization, and authenticity. In: S. Walker, M. Evans, T. Cassidy, J. Jung & A. Twigger Holroyd (eds) Design Roots: Culturally Significant Designs, Products, and Practices. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp.25-37.

Twigger Holroyd, A. (2018). Digital transformations, amateur making, and the revitalization of traditional textile crafts. In: S. Walker, M. Evans, T. Cassidy, J. Jung & A. Twigger Holroyd (eds) Design Roots: Culturally Significant Designs, Products, and Practices. London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp.291-303.

Twigger Holroyd, A. (2017). Making it mine: personalising clothes at home. In: I. Kuksa & T. Fisher (eds) Design for Personalisation. Farnham: Gower.

Twigger Holroyd, A. (2014). Openness. In: K. Fletcher & M. Tham (eds) Routledge Handbook of Sustainability and Fashion. London: Routledge, pp.253-61.

See all of Amy Twigger Holroyd 's publications...

Press expertise

  • fashion and sustainability
  • design and sustainability
  • amateur making (mending, knitting, sewing)
  • homemade clothes
  • traditional crafts