Fashion and textiles
Research into fashion and textiles has an impact on everyone. Fabric and clothing are part of practically every moment of our lives – from what we wear, to the furnishings in our homes.
Our fashion and textiles research is addressing important issues around fashion and textile design and its associated industries.
We work to drive positive change and responsible approaches to designing fashion and textiles in the future. We support the Fashion Revolution campaign and its agenda for sustainability and ethics from industry and consumers.
We're exploring the design process and its outcomes, including work into the use of digital technologies within design and supply chains, theoretical research into design and craft that questions fashion and textile futures and socially engaged practices that educate and provide opportunities for economic growth.
Our research covers the following topics
- Sustainability and ethics in supply chains
- Socially engaged practices in making and education
- Digital and virtual technologies
- Critical practice and theories of craft and design
Methods and facilities
Our researchers use practice-based approaches in their qualitative work. We seek to work collaboratively, often using varied approaches such as film-making, animation, narrative methods and workshops.
We have a range of facilities available to support this research practice including Lectra Modaris, laser cutting, 3D printing, CNC milling, rapid forming, as well as digital technologies for VR and AR applications.
Funders and collaborations
Our research receives funding from major funding organisations, including the British Council – who funded our Arts Exchange with Wuhan Textile University, China – and the Regional Development Agency.
We collaborate with academic partners beyond fashion and textiles across a range of fields of international law, ethical business, social engagement, dance and performance, motion capture and digital and virtual animation.
Publications and projects
Our research is regularly exhibited and published in academic journals, books and at events and conferences internationally including the Venice Biennale, FAD Barcelona, Wuhan Fashion Week (China) and the Design Research Society International Conference.
We've also presented and exhibited our work around the world, such as the Venice Biennale, FAD Barcelona, the Design Research Society International Conference, and Wuhan Fashion Week, China.
An exhibition by Dr Lara Torres at Manifattura Tabacchi, curated by Linda Loppa during Pitti Uomo in Florence.
Rachel Homewood ('Nonahedra' Virtual Fashion Film) and Susan Noble ('What We Wear Is Who We Are') presented and exhibited their research projects at the Futurescan conference, University of Bolton.
Discover our areas of expertise
Fashion and textiles is one of 6 areas of expertise within our Art and Design: History, Theory and Practice – explore the other 5 below.
Our research is looking at the history of design, and ethnographic studies in relation to design, design usability, legibility studies, design knowledge, and epistemology.
We're exploring the historical production and consumption of art and design in wider social, cultural, political and economic contexts, with a particular emphasis on curation and exhibitions.
We're exploring how self-publishing allows a more diverse range of authors to communicate with an audience – and how zines and artist's books can tackle non-traditional subjects.
Our research looks at the portrait studio as a psychic space, how photography can be used to propose theoretical considerations, and how subjectivity is defined through photography.
Interested in a PhD in Art & Design?
Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Art & Design postgraduate research degrees page.