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:

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tensARC recruiting experienced machinists

tensARC are looking for motivated individuals who are prepared to work hard, strive to be the best they can be, can perform under their own initiative but enjoy working as part of a team. For this role you should be an experienced sewing machinist, take pride in creating high quality products and have a good eye for detail. As part of the production team you will also be involved in the quality control inspections and packing and presentation of the final items.

Their customers love the fit, function and quality of our products. They love the work that goes into creating them and are looking for people who want to come and join them to help grow this part of their business.

The starting salary, with suitable experience, is £15,210 for a 37.5 hr week (£7.80 per hour). Benefits include a fun working environment, 30 days holiday, company pension, group annual bonus, an early finish on a Friday and the opportunity to enhance and showcase your skills.

In addition to on the job training by highly qualified staff you will be able to undertake an MA level 2 or 3 in Fashion and Textiles Heritage – The course is broken down in to modules, the modules are a mixture of general requirements for this industry and the specific skills required for this position. The course is work place assessed, fully funded and typically takes 18-24 months to complete.

pitman-photo-3About tensARC:

tensARC is fundamentally a design company and everything we design, engineer and make is tailored to the exact requirements of each customer (large or small). This is a premium brand with a premium solution – with the fabric and all components having been developed in-house to best meet the technical requirements of each application. We work very closely with each customer to deliver a service that matches their need and exceeds their expectations. InShade is our new flagship product, it is innovative and is already creating a lot of interest in the industry. In order to meet increased demand we have invested in a dedicated production line using state of the art equipment including a laser cutting table with a moving conveyor table bed and direct off the roll feed that can quickly and accurately cut individual fabric patterns directly from our computer design files. All of our sewing machines are new, the best available and in some cases have been customised specifically for each task to ensure the best possible quality and consistency.

  • Please send your CV or a letter outlining your experience by email to and the phrase Modern Apprenticeship in the title.
  • Looking for starts in Jan/Feb 17


Future Skills Summit 4 Oct 16


Event Aim: To explore opportunities for collaboration between the Scottish textiles industry and the FE/HE education sector to drive leadership and skills development

STAG invites industry professionals working in textiles, leather or fashion sectors in Scotland, Further & Higher Education professionals and public sector partner agencies to join the conversation at the Textiles Future Skills Summit.

9.45am – 4.00pm, Tuesday 4 October, Reid Building, Glasgow School of Art


PROGRAMME Continue reading

Scottish Textiles Industry Showcase & MA Awards


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The Scottish Textiles industry has celebrated the achievement of apprentices and their host companies at the inaugural Scottish Textiles Modern Apprenticeship Awards held at Perth Racecourse.

The Awards, managed by the Scottish Textiles Skills Partnership and sponsored by Glasgow Clyde College, West College Scotland, Alex Begg and Co, Scottish Leather Group, SQA and The Worshipful Company of Weavers, recognised how apprenticeships have made a difference to businesses and careers in Scotland.

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Apprentice Dylan Murray, Apprentice Champion John Ayton & HR Manager Callum McInnes of SLG share their experiences with other companies 

The Awards recognised employers who have fostered new talent by investing in apprenticeships and individual apprentices who have made a significant contribution to their place of work.

Award winners were announced at an industry event at Perth Racecourse that explored the implementation and impact of the Modern Apprenticeship Programme on a range of companies from diverse sectors in textiles.

Congratulations to the winners:

Among those who have benefitted from the programme is Bruce Easton, winner of the Apprentice of the Year (Level 2) Award. Bruce joined The Border Mill in September 2014 as an apprentice Mill Technician.  He completed the Level 2 apprenticeship in June 2015 and is now working towards completion of Level 3. Bruce’s ability to efficiently manage multiple processes, his meticulous attention to detail and his trouble-shooting ability have contributed significantly to an increase in the mill’s productivity, through reduction in machine down-time and reworking.

“During his time with the company Bruce has demonstrated his willingness to learn and has become an integral and highly valued member of the small team at The Border Mill”, John & Juliet Miller, Owners, The Border Mill.

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