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Textiles Future Forum

The aim of the Textiles Future Forum initiative was to accelerate collaboration between the Scottish textile industry and academia designed to fast-track innovation in the sector and wider markets where textiles are the key to the supply chain.

The TFF initiative was market-driven and industry-led, and worked across the sector to identify innovative projects where partnership and support from academia could assist in unlocking potential for growth.

Progress to date and the impact on innovation has been significant. Since the initiative was launched in August 2014, with the support of the Scottish Funding Council, Textiles Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Interface, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise; TFF have invested over £1m into the Scottish textile sector.

Nine projects were awarded funding and support from Textiles Future Forum.

  • Low-cost Textile Antenna Array (search & rescue)
  • Bovine Bum Bags
  • Light Emitting Textiles - innovative lighting solutions for smart textiles production
  • Transforming Unexploited Textiles
  • Bespoke In-House digital print on cashmere feasibility study
  • Thermo-chemical processing of waste wool (pyrolysis)
  • Leather take back scheme
  • Lightweight wind turbine blade
  • Collagen fibre

The nine projects awarded each addressed industry critical key thematic areas:

  • Advanced performance fibres, fabric
  • Embedded sensors, advanced coatings
  • Healthcare and medical applications
  • Sustainable raw materials
  • Resource efficiency in textile materials
  • Digital fashion
  • Consumer-driven integrated digital textiles

The TFF initiative concluded in August 2017. The focus in the sector now is to continue the innovation stimulation activity, to undertake market/technology foresighting, and to look at wider collaboration. This is being driven by the Industry Leadership Group, lead academics, and sector support agencies.

TFF supported the Scottish Textile Industry Strategy to be a world-class textiles sector, making a genuine impact on the Scottish economy; growing jobs, companies, and our standing on the global stage. The TFF initiative was far-reaching, promoting across the entire textile supply chain, from the traditional design-led and textiles-based, through to the more technical disciplines (including architecture and construction, marine and coastal applications, healthcare and medical applications). This was underpinned by the cross-discipline approach to innovation within the sector.



Programme Manager


Gillian Wishart was the TFF Programme Manager, accountable for the direction of TFF in support of the over-arching strategy of research and innovation; stakeholder engagement, PR and marketing, and management of the Innovation Challenge Fund and projects.


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