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Scottish Textile News

  • 13-Aug-2018 11:02 AM | Kimberley White

    The Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards (VACMA) provide an important opportunity for the development of contemporary art and craft practice at a local level. The VACMA programme has been developed by Creative Scotland in collaboration with local partners over several years and it now reaches artists and craft makers in 21 local authorities across Scotland.

    Following a positive evaluation, Creative Scotland is delighted to confirm the programme for 2018/19 and announce the deadlines for funding. The programme offers grants from £500 to £1,500 to support the creative and professional development of artists and craft makers at all stages in their career.

    The scheme is administered locally by partners across 21 local authority areas – Aberdeen; Aberdeenshire; Dumfries and Galloway; Dundee; East Lothian; Edinburgh; Fife; Glasgow; Highland; Moray; Na h-Eileanan Siar; Orkney Islands; Scottish Borders; Shetland Islands; North, South and East Ayrshire; Perth and Kinross; Stirling; Clackmannanshire and Falkirk.

    The awards are made possible by support from the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and through the resources of the local partners.

    Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland said: “The VACMA programme has been extremely important in providing opportunities for the creative and professional development of artists and craft makers across Scotland. The evaluation shows the significant value of these relatively small awards in terms of increasing confidence and opportunity; the generation of new ideas and skills; the extension of professional networks and outlooks. The success of the scheme lies in the strength of the partnerships that make it possible. We look forward to building on the work achieved to date and exploring new opportunities to extend the reach of the scheme into the future”

    Deadlines for 2018/19 programme are Tuesday 2 October 2018 and Tuesday 5 February 2019. Each delivery partner is holding drop-in information sessions ahead of the October deadline. 

    For further information please click here.

  • 30-Jul-2018 4:06 PM | Kimberley White

    In a keynote presentation at the 91st Textile Institute Conference held this week at the University of Leeds in the UK, the sheer scale of the issues facing high street fashion retailers was laid out by Nick Chiarelli of the Foresight Factory.

    By way of an extremely positive response from a major brand, came a second keynote, the Peter Dinsdale Memorial Lecture, from Dave Mallinson, head of product technology at John Lewis.


    Following an introduction by new Textile Institute World President Katie Greenyer laying out the conference theme of integrating design with sustainable technology, Chiarelli spoke of consumer trends being responses to pressures.

    VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity – has become the buzz word for the general consumer mood in the face of political instability, reinforced by a shift in working practices for many people, with 162 million people in North America and Europe now part of the ‘gigging economy’.

    Trends identified in response to this include ‘Cruise Control’ – the use of technology to micro-manage and provide a sense of personal control which is driving the rise of both fitness activity trackers and AI-driven visual fashion purchasing. In parallel is ‘Mechanised Trust’ – the need to check all facts, as well as the provenance of goods, in order to establish transparency – something Chiarelli noted brands should endeavour to respond to.

    Environmental change and the war on waste, he said, were without doubt big drivers for new material developments, while societies were becoming increasingly both more urban and at the same time more fluid, demanding new marketing approaches.

    The biggest change, however, will without doubt come from technology, Chiarelli said, pointing out that by as early as 2020, 80% of businesses will be using chatbots and there will be seven million drones in the air. Further big changes will come from robotised pharmacists, corporate audits performed by AI, and electric and driverless vehicles.

    “We are entering the age of customised reality and life on demand, and trying on clothes via virtual mirror technologies will become commonplace,” he said. “With this will come a new level of personalisation and despite the negative aspects of shared data, there is a major appetite for all of its benefits. Consumers are very quickly becoming acclimatised to this.”

    Amazon, he added, was now filing patents on systems for on-demand clothing.


    So where does all this leave a major high street retailer like John Lewis?

    “We have a bold ambition to reinvent our business while remaining true to our principles,” said Dave Mallinson. “There is no doubt the retail environment is the hardest ever, with much disruption and many closures.”

    For the first time since World War 2, he added, employee-owned John Lewis would not post a profit for the first half of 2018.

    “Due to the growth of online there is more retail space than demand, consumer confidence is low and costs are growing,” Mallinson said. “This is not a passing phase but the new normal. The High Street, however, has evolved before and our plan is to differentiate entirely on product, both via human and digital channels. More than ever it’s about not just being different, but better, or otherwise all we are competing on is price.

    “If we don’t do this, we will be carried away by the online retailers who have no fixed costs, and by brands selling directly to the consumer. In the next three years we plan to make 50% of all of the products we make exclusive to John Lewis. We’ve made a good start in home ware and our challenge now is to replicate that in fashion, beginning with our new women’s wear collection which will be launched in every store nationwide in September. Next year it will be all about menswear. Our aim is to establish credibility in fashion and we are investing in better design, with 50% more designers and also more technologists.

    “We are carrying out deep benchmarking to assess the quality of our products against the competition and pursuing innovation through new manufacturing techniques and more sustainable materials,” Mallinson concluded. “This is entirely in keeping with the John Lewis constitution established over 100 years ago – ‘to wholly and solely make the world a bit happier and a bit more decent.’”

    Original article here.

  • 25-Jul-2018 4:09 PM | Kimberley White

    Launched in 2017, the Knockando Woolmill New Woven Textile Designer Award sought to uncover the best of new textile design talent by inviting current students and recent graduates to submit innovative and contemporary designs that pushed boundaries.

    From a shortlist of six designs, the winning design was chosen by a top judging panel as part of Edinburgh International Fashion Festival - Fleet Bigwood, Alistair O’Neill, Fabio Piras, Clements Ribeiro, and Rachel Meddowes.

    Jessica Cutler, who studied Textiles in Practice at Manchester School of Art and graduated in July 2017, was presented the award for her design ‘Devon Seasons’.

    Jessica visited the Woolmill this week to see her design in production. Jessica said "It has been amazing to come up here and see it being woven… Knowing my name is going to be on the label and people all over the country are going to be buying the products is really exciting!"

    The design is being produced as a limited edition run of only 150 scarves and 35 blankets. The items are now available for pre order on the Knockando Woolmill website.

    Pre-order here.

  • 23-Jul-2018 11:01 AM | Kimberley White

    In 1965, the renowned textile designer, Bernat Klein, launched a series of Personal Colour Guides, designed to help customers choose clothes for themselves based on what colours suited them rather than by following fashion trends. 

    Klein analysed the colours of six iris types in paint and based on this, produced a general guide to the colours and tones which he thought would be most complimentary to them when worn. In doing so, he was at the forefront of the consumer ‘colour analysis’ industry, advocating his approach to choosing colours some 15 years before Carole Jackson published Colour Me Beautiful (1980) or Bernice Kentner published A Rainbow in Your Eyes (1981). 

    Klein’s semi-autobiographical work, Eye for Colour (1965), accompanied the launch of the Personal Colour Guides and in it he explains that ‘the main purpose of the colour guides is to help people, men as well as women, to dress better – in the broad, permanent, non-fashion sense of the word; to add good colour sense to their fashion sense; to develop their colour sense – to make them more aware of colours in themselves and in cloths, garments and accessories, to enable them to analyse their own colouring and then enjoy the harmonies and discords that they themselves can create and achieve if they wish to use their sense of colour actively.’ (Klein, 1965. p104)

    In 2017, Klein’s family gifted his stock of Personal Colour Guides to the Bernat Klein Foundation, which was established the same year to promote the legacy of Klein’s work and thought. It is the Foundation’s hope that Klein’s Colour Guides can inspire future designers and have an application in everyday life as he intended.

    To celebrate the release of these original Colour Guides for sale in support of the Foundation’s aims, the Bernat Klein Foundation is hosting a symposium devoted to exploring the role that colour might play in changing models of fashion consumption and promoting ‘slow’ textiles: how can the colour forecasting industry work towards supporting sustainable production through its narratives? How do personal colour choices intersect with cultural and commercial determinations? How is the colour of clothing used to create distinctive identities or signature styles? Cultural explorations and personal accounts of emotional attachments to particular colours are welcomed.

    Call for papers

    Proposals are being invited for 20 minute papers and presentations from practitioners; business professionals; early, established and independent researchers on this theme, including, but not limited to:

    • Colour forecasting and its influence on the fashion industry 
    • Sustainable production linked to these supporting narratives and colour trends Personal colour choice and its intersection with cultural and commercial determinations 
    • Colour and clothing, and its use in the creation of distinctive identities or signature styles 
    • Colour in slow fashion and the increasing use of archive references Personal attachment to colour and cloth that promotes meaning and social histories

    Please direct any queries and submit abstracts and short biographies of up to 250 words each to: Dr. Fiona Jardine f.jardine@gsa.ac.uk or Professor Alison Harley info@bernatkleinfoundation.org.

  • 20-Jul-2018 11:08 AM | Kimberley White

    SPFW2 invite Scottish fashion students and graduates to apply to take part in The SPFW2 Runway Show, which takes place at the stunning Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum on both the 4th & 5th of August at 6pm.

    Fashion and accessory designers can showcase a maximum of ten full outfits on the highly anticipated runway in Glasgow with hair, make-up and models provided.

    Designers will be included in all media and marketing materials and be provided with a bank of imagery post event.

    Dress rehearsals will take place 24 hours prior to the show, please make yourself available for this.

    To apply, please send through images of your collections via email, WeTransfer or Dropbox to Hussain@spfwglasgow.com with the Subject Line ‘Name – SPFW2 Application’ for review. Pending the success of your application, you will be allocated a runway slot on either the 4th or 5th of August at 6pm.

    If you are successful, the cost for current Scottish students is £100 and £150 for Scottish graduates (you must have graduated in the last 3 years) and you will be asked to provide proof via a student card or other documentation.

    If you have any further questions about the runway, please contact Creative Director, Andy Marshall on andymarshallphotography@gmail.com.

    To enquire about exhibition spaces, for further images, press information or for tickets, please contact Shauna on shauna@genuine.scot or call 0141 243 2621.

    The event is open to all including buyers, trade, press, media and public.

  • 17-Jul-2018 11:01 AM | Kimberley White

    Fashion designers from across the globe will arrive in Glasgow this August to showcase their collections at Scotland Pakistan Fashion Week.

    The event, which will showcase the likes of designers Shamaeel Ansari, Shazia Emaan & Umar Sayeed Couture will be attended by media and industry figures from around the world including Pakistani actress and fashion model, Kubra Khan.

    The Runway Show takes place at the stunning Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum on both the 4th & 5th of August at 6pm. There will also be an opportunity to meet the designers, browse and buy collections at the SPFW Boutique Lounge situated at city centre shopping mall, House of Sher on both the 6th & 7th August.

    The event will highlight the vibrancy and true craftsmanship of the artisans involved and offers a breathtaking fusion of both Western and Asian styles.

    Scotland Pakistan Fashion Week’s mission is to bridge the gap between Pakistani and international designers, providing a formidable commercial platform between designers, partners and global media.

    Shafea Qureshi, Event Manager said:

    “SPFW2 will showcase the work of some of the best Pakistani and Scottish designers. After its success in Glasgow back in March which had a visit from the First Minister, we hope to take it to the global stage”.

    Scotland Pakistani Fashion Week are delighted to offer an exclusive discounted rate to Scottish fashion students and graduates to showcase their wares on the SPFW2 runway. 

    To hear more about this offer, please contact hussain@spfwglasgow.com.

  • 05-Jul-2018 2:39 PM | Kimberley White

    For the second year in a row BeFab Be Creative are delighted to be sponsoring a small business / creative with £300 of Fabric Printing.

    BeFab know all too well how hard it is being a small business. When they decided to begin their business, the aim was to make high-end digital fabric printing accessible to small designer makers. BeFab Be Creative support individuals to work smarter by keeping minimums low, with no set up fees. 

    The Edinburgh-based sisters BeFab Be Creative are looking to support a talented, capable and driven individual or business to give them a step up to create a collection or develop a project, whether that be Fashion, Textiles Design or Arts based.

    How do I apply?

    One: Design and then order a sample print on your chosen fabric here.

    Two: Fill in the application here.


    Completed Applications must be received by 31st July 2018.

    BeFab Be Creative's decision will be made and announced by the 10th August and £300 of printing must be used within 6 months of award being announced.

    More details here.

  • 22-Jun-2018 11:09 AM | Kimberley White

    Twenty of Scotland’s most talented, innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs will start the first Unlocking Ambition Challenge to find Scotland’s next business success story, including Joan Johnston of Bespoke Fabrics.

    Unlocking Ambition aims to follow the success and impact of Scottish companies such as Brewdog and SkyScanner - businesses that have grown to an international scale and whose leaders are committed to supporting other companies reach similar achievements.

    The Unlocking Ambition Challenge is a £4 million fund created by the Scottish Government that will support entrepreneurs chosen for their individual potential, the quality of their ideas and the contribution they can make to the Scottish economy and wider society.

    The first twenty candidates to receive Unlocking Ambition support were announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon while visiting Cumnock during a travelling cabinet to East Ayrshire. The group will receive support from Scottish Enterprise, a mentoring programme from Entrepreneurial Scotland, access to the GlobalScot network and help from the Scottish Investment Bank.

    Please see original article here.

  • 14-Jun-2018 3:36 PM | Kimberley White

    Johnstons of Elgin have been awarded the GOLD Investors in Young People [IIYP] Good Practice Award. IIYP is the only people management standard that focuses on an employer’s recruitment and retention of young people. Now IIYP-accredited for the second time, this prestigious gold accreditation represents the brand’s true commitment to training, developing and employing young people.

    In recent years, Johnstons of Elgin has heavily invested in establishing opportunities for young people at the organisation and this includes the launch of their Modern Apprenticeship programme. Already over 100 employees have successfully completed an apprenticeship, with more employees in training.

    Simon Cotton, Chief Executive commented: “We are incredibly proud that Johnstons of Elgin has been awarded for its unwavering commitment to the training and employment of young people. Receiving this Gold commendation demonstrates how important youth employment is to our business and we are thrilled that our efforts in this area have once again been recognised”.

    Peter Russian, Chief Executive of Remarkable (the home for Investors in Young People), said: “Huge congratulations to Johnstons of Elgin on their very well-deserved Investors in Young People Gold award. From their engagement with schools, helping pupils to reach positive destinations, to their in-house apprenticeship programmes and technical training school, Johnstons of Elgin’s youth employment practices are truly inspirational. It’s fantastic to see their clear commitment to growing, developing and nurturing their own talent."

    The 220-year-old cashmere and tweed specialist, noted for their strong focus on creating employment and training opportunities, received the award this June on behalf of its teams of employees which now totals more than 1000 and commends the company’s fundamental purpose of striving to nurture enthusiasm in young staff and redefining mastery.

    Johnstons of Elgin becomes the first cashmere brand in Scotland, the first organisation in Moray, where it employs around 700 employees, and, the first organisation in Hawick, where it employs around 280 employees, to achieve the Investors in Young People Gold Accreditation.

  • 11-Jun-2018 9:36 AM | Kimberley White

    UK Fashion & Textile Association is delighted to announce that Laurian Davies, International Business Manager at UKFT, has been appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Young Fashion Entrepreneurs and Exporters.

    The award was made in recognition of Laurian’s work in helping designers and brands over a period of more than 38 years.

    With Laurian’s help, encouragement and infectious enthusiasm for the fashion industry, thousands of designers and brands have started their export business at exhibitions and trade missions around the world. She has also worked with a huge number of freelance designers helping them protect their designs and to understand the value of their creativity, enabling them to turn their passion into a living.

    Laurian Davies said of her award: “I am surprised and delighted to have been awarded an MBE. It’s wonderful to help young designers to find their place in our ever-changing industry; talking them through the possible pitfalls and helping them to grow. They don’t all necessarily go on to be household names, but their contribution to the UK economy is immense. I’ve calculated that I’ve travelled over 500,000 miles so far on my journey to export British fashion and textiles and it still gives me a massive buzz to see our companies writing orders!”

    Nigel Lugg, Chairman of UKFT, said ‘Laurian has a passion for helping fashion companies make a success of exporting and for sharing her knowledge and experience. I am thrilled that her dedication to the industry has been recognised’’

    For further information please contact:

    Adam Mansell: adam.mansell@ukft.org

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