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Textiles design research: from chemistry to craft, towards sustainable design innovation

Kane, Faith; Morgan, Laura; Akiwowo, Kerri; Tyrer, John


Faith Kane

Dr Laura Morgan
Wallscourt Fellow in Design and Material Futures

Kerri Akiwowo

John Tyrer


Academic research in textile design has traditionally been dominated by technical studies situated with science and engineering knowledge frameworks. Increasingly textile designers are undertaking research into technical areas with creative intentions and utilizing alternative modes of inquiry. Whilst both technical and creative studies contribute critically to the expanding field of textiles, we ask: “When working to apply newly established technical processes within an industrial context, does an interdisciplinary approach that embraces both scientific and artistic research support sustainable innovation?” The research discussed within this paper uses two current projects as case studies with which to review the opportunities and limitations of a research methodology that is essentially design-led but that embraces both scientific and artistic approaches to textiles research. Both studies focus on the development of laser techniques to create environmentally advantageous and commercially relevant surface patterning opportunities for textiles. The aim, therefore, of the research presented in this paper is to consider an interdisciplinary approach to textile design research and in doing so to reflect upon the relationship between the creative and engineering aspects of textile design, proposing a methodological approach for working with new textile processes towards sustainable innovation. In summary the research concludes that the relationship between the creativity and engineering for textiles innovation must be design-led via creative intention but underpinned with robust technical inquiry. As such, design can be seen to add value within sustainable innovation within textiles.

Start Date Apr 22, 2015
Publication Date Jul 5, 2016
ISBN 9781843873938
APA6 Citation Kane, F., Morgan, L., Akiwowo, K., & Tyrer, J. (2016). Textiles design research: from chemistry to craft, towards sustainable design innovation.
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