Into Industry comes to Dundee, 1 March

Book your free ticket now to attend Into Industry at DJCAD, University of Dundee from 4.30-6.30pm Wed 1 March.  We are delighted to be joined by technical textiles companies including Don & Low and Halley Stevensons, Uan Wool and Patterncutter UK, BeFab Be Creative textile digital printing specialists and Kalopsia micro-manufacturing experts.

Open to students, staff, teachers and senior phase pupils this is a unique opportunity to learn more about Scotland’s textiles industry in Tayside and Fife, explore your skills and learn how they fit. Tickets are limited, so book yours:

into industry image.jpg


Entrepreneurship in College Contexts

Check out this presentation by Carol Langston, Head of CREATE delivered at a recent College Development Network webinar, to demystify what entrepreneurship means within a further education context.  The presentation provides clarity, inspiration and useful links to other resources and support agencies that can help you embed entrepreneurial skills for life and work in your teaching.

Access presentation >>  finalcarollangstonpresentation_cdnenterprise3nov2016

CREATE inspires, encourages and supports students, staff and the business community to develop the knowledge, skills and motivation needed to realise their potential through enterprise. Visit to learn more.

COLLEGE DEVELOPMENT NETWORK offer a series of events and training opportunities to staff in Scottish Colleges, visit to learn more about what training may be useful for your professional development.

STAG Spring Events Programme launched

alpaca_portraitPlease book early to avoid disappointment, places are limited. Please note travel to STAG events is not provided, limited travel assistance available for ZWS open lectures, read more

ZWS Open Lecture: Dyeing Technologies with Dr Richard Blackburn
6.30pm, Monday 29 February – Napier University, Edinburgh  book now

Border Mill Industry Visit – meet an alpaca!
11am – 1.0pm, Friday 4 March – Duns, The Borders  book now

ZWS Open Lecture: Designing Product Speeds for the Circular Economy with Prof Rebecca Earley & Dr Kate Goldsworthy
6.30pm, Wednesday 16 March – Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow  book now

Into Industry: where do your skills fit?
5pm – 7pm, Tuesday 22 March – Ayrshire College, Ayr  book now

Into Industry: where do your skills fit?
5pm – 7pm, Tuesday 29 March – Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh  book now

Johnstons of Elgin Industry Visit – try your hand at linking!
11am – 1.30pm, Wednesday 30 March – Hawick, The Borders  book now

ZWS Open Lecture: Zero Waste Pattern Cutting with Dr Alison Gwilt
6.30pm, Tuesday 19 April – Glasgow Clyde College, Glasgow  book now

ZWS Lecture 2, 6.30pm 15 Feb, ECA


The next ZWS evening lecture Does the circular economy spell the end of fashion? with Mark Shayler takes place on 15 February at 6.30pm, ECA, Edinburgh. The event is free but ticketed.


Download poster/flyer

Limited funding is available to STAG institutions as a contribution towards students’ travel costs where the cost is a barrier to those students being able to access the lecture. To be eligible, a minimum of 6 students (accompanied by a staff member) must travel together by public transport or private coach hire. The college/university must pay for the travel and claim the cost back from STAG. STAG cannot reimburse individual student’s costs. Subject to prior agreement, STAG will make a maximum contribution of up to 50% of agreed costs, up to a maximum of £250 per institution.  Please contact Sally if you wish to access funding.

GSA student Rachel Mack speaks about her recent visits to Tayside technical textiles companies

In October, I had the great opportunity of visiting two manufacturing companies in Tayside, thanks to an organised trip by Scottish Textiles Academic Group (STAG). The two companies were different in their approach to manufacturing, although both employed innovative processes that are helping Scotland stay at the forefront of textile innovation. Visiting and learning about these companies was a brilliant experience and relevant to my current subject of study; Fashion & Textile Design.


The trip started in J&D Wilkies, a technical textile company based in Kirriemuir. We were guided through the factory and shown the many different departments within it. It was clear to see how specialised and skilled the employees had become in carrying out certain stages of the production process. It was also interesting to learn about the diverse fabrics that were woven on the factory looms and the many advanced applications of these fabrics. I found it quite astonishing that these revolutionary fabrics were coming out of such a small Scottish village.

Our second visit of the day was to Montrose Rope & Sail, which was equally fascinating. The company specialises in manufacturing tarpaulin covers and heavy-duty bags mainly for use within the oil industry. Whilst walking around the factory, we were introduced to the hi-tec way in which the company cuts its PVC fabric in order to improve the quality of the finish and also to reduce wastage. Watching the machine work was mesmerising and inspirational from a design perspective. In addition, I was quite surprised by how young the machinists in the factory were as the majority of them looked under the age of 30. I later learned that the company takes on apprentices and trains them up so they are fully literate on a sewing machine.


It was good to hear of something positive happening within the Scottish textile industry instead of the current negative outlook in relation to skilled workers.

As a design student, it can seem quite daunting approaching manufacturers and there are often other issues involved, such as health and safety, making a trip of this nature practically impossible to organise. Having had this face-to-face meeting I now feel more confident approaching these types of companies in the future. Furthermore, I was really encouraged by how keen the companies were to embrace the prospect of working with new designers and challenging the way they do things.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank STAG for organising this trip. I would also like to thank Anne & Foo at J&D Wilkies and Neil Paton at Montrose Rope & Sail for being so welcoming and showing so much passion for the work they do.

Rachel Mack, final year student MDes Fashion & Textiles programme at The Glasgow School of Art

Images courtesy of Rachel Mack

£50k funding available through Textiles Future Forum Innovation Challenge Competition

tff innovDeadline: 5pm on Friday 25th September 2015.

This summer, Textiles Future Forum is running an Innovation Challenge Competition to increase opportunities for business and academia to participate and bid for funding from the TFF Challenge Fund.

For more details on the competition please visit –

Registration Open – Futurescan 3: Intersecting Identities FTC Conference, GSA, 11-12 Nov 15

The Association of Fashion & Textiles Courses (FTC) is pleased to announce that registration for its biennial conference is now open.


Futurescan 3: Intersecting Identities

The Glasgow School of Art, UK

11-12 November 2015

The identities of those employed within fashion and textiles are multifaceted. In the higher education sector individuals operate in complex roles as teachers, educators, facilitators, instructors, mentors, supervisors, creative practitioners, researchers, collaborators, coordinators, managers and leaders, in a continually evolving system responsive to external factors including the latest government agendas, policy initiatives and industry developments. The fashion and textiles industry is transient. Creative professionals work as designers, artists, makers, colourists, stylists, photographers, illustrators, technologists, futurologists, curators, authors, historians, conservators, journalists, buyers, marketers and publicists. It is commonplace for individuals to associate with numerous intersecting identities within the global fashion and textiles community.

The Association of Fashion and Textile Courses (FTC) forthcoming conference Futurescan 3: Intersecting Identities will provide an international forum for dissemination of research surrounding fashion and textiles. Keynote speakers, full and short paper authors will present preliminary, existing and completed work that intersects the following themes:

  • Education and Industry
  • Research and Teaching
  • History and Contemporary Practice
  • Creative Practice and Theory
  • Making and Technology
  • Sustainability and Society
  • Local and Global Communities

Keynote speakers:

Carole Collet, Professor in Design for Sustainable Futures, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

Noa Raviv, Fashion Designer & Artist, Creative Director Noa Raviv

Paul Simmons, Designer & Owner, Timorous Beasties

The conference is intended for educators, established and early career researchers, postgraduate students, practitioners and industry professionals.

For enquires please email:


The Association of Fashion and Textile Courses (FTC) is a UK subject association, formed in 1977. Today, the FTC exists to promote and develop fashion and textiles through academic debate, education and research. The

Association, through its networks has extensive links with industry, public and professional bodies and acts to advise on quality in educational matters nationally and internationally.

The aims of the FTC are to:

  • Stimulate academic debate across the constituent elements of Fashion, Textiles and related areas, in order to maintain an informed and current overview of the sector
  • Provide a forum for discussion, support and dissemination of learning and teaching, research, practice and scholarly activity for Fashion and Textiles
  • Liaise with public and professional bodies to advise on quality educational matters and take a pro-active role in lobbying the interests of the sector