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Scottish Textile News

  • 31-May-2018 12:26 PM | Kimberley White

    On May 22nd, pupils from schools in Clyde Valley and Dumfries and Galloway celebrated their completion of the first ever Material World Go4SET programme designed to launch them into stellar careers in the Scottish Textiles Industry in science, technology, engineering, arts or maths (STEAM). The Material World Go4SET competition Celebration and Assessment Day was held at The Trades Hall, Glasgow and pupils got the chance to showcase their hard work to a panel of expert judges including Jaki Love and Kimberley White of the Textiles Scotland team, plus guests from industry, members of the Incorporations and the pupils’ families.

    Pupils from St Paul’s High School, Our Lady’s High School (Motherwell), Trinity Academy (Renfrew), Holycross High School, St Peter the Apostle High School, St John Ogilvie High School and Dumbarton Academy attended the competition. Prizes awarded on the day included Best Teamwork, won by Our Lady’s High School, the Pupils’ Choice Award, which went to St John Ogilvie High School and the Innovation Award won by Dumbarton Academy. The judges awarded the overall prize to Holycross High School for producing the most thoughtful project and professional report. The team will now go on to compete in the National Final on the 6th June at Glasgow City Chambers.

    John McFadyen, Langholm Academy, “Go4SET allows pupils to work together on a specific project to gain industry experience.” John was particularly impressed about the ‘cross-curricular’ nature of the programme. “It’s a great competition which makes pupils aware of the current trends in STEAM”, said Ms Steinert, an Art and Design teacher from Our Lady’s High School.

    The Go4SET competition encourages S2 pupils to “go for it!” and pursue further education, apprenticeships or careers in science, engineering and technology, getting them out of the classroom and giving them first-hand experience of the workplace. For 10 weeks, 12–14 year olds work in teams of six with an industry mentor on STEAM-themed projects based around real-world problems that need solving, from environmental issues to finance and technology. The term STEAM is used to indicate that Arts or art-practices engage with the STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

    Material World Go4SET teams are the first to be paired with mentors from the textiles industry, and the programmes aim was to showcase the diverse applications of STEAM skills in textiles businesses. The organisations supporting this year’s teams were our members Alex Begg, FTS Dyers, Jack Ellis; and Terumo Aortic, W. L. Gore,  and Elliott’s Shed.

    The Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation sponsored the programme as well as the development of the Material World online resource. Fiona Godsman, Trustee of the Foundation, said: ‘It is important for educators to show students the links between STEAM and industry; and the Textiles Industry is a great example to feature and very relevant to the West of Scotland. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths is all around us and, as has been demonstrated to the students, has an integral part to play in the design and manufacturing of Textiles.” All of the companies supporting the schools through the Material World programme have strong technical and science elements which the students witnessed through a site visit to the company.

    Fiona concluded by saying; “The Glasgow Clyde Education Foundation are delighted to support the Material World Go4SET programme across the West of Scotland, challenging young people to think about their futures and the STEAM careers available to them”

    In 2016-17 EDT Scotland successfully reached 23% of all Scottish secondary schools and engaged over 3,500 young people through a range of industry-led projects. Over 80% of Go4SET students said the project had made a difference to their enjoyment of science, and 70% said they would consider further education in STEM as a result of taking part. On Tuesday one student even commented that they have changed their career choice from surgeon to fashion designer once she realised that the role involves STEM.

    Helen Anderson, Scotland Director for competition-organisers EDT, said: “Textiles continue to play a key role in the Scottish manufacturing sector and I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve been able to showcase the industry and paths into further study and future careers throughout this project. By utilising scientific and creative skills these teams have shown just how important STEAM is to encouraging innovation, creativity and problem-solving.”

    “Go4SET encourages young people of today to be the engineers and scientists of tomorrow. It also helps them develop skills in team working, communication, report writing and problem solving – all essential skills in today’s world of work”.

    Go4SET is a national programme which is part of the Engineering Development Trust’s continuum of programmes aimed at stimulating young people’s interest in STEM at a key stage in their education.

  • 24-May-2018 1:56 PM | Kimberley White

    The annual Inverness-based XpoNorth festival is Scotland's leading creative industries festival, with this year's edition taking place across the 27th and 28th of June 2018. 

    A hot-bed of creative activity, the conference and showcase takes place over two exciting and energising days and nights in the Highland capital. The only festival of its kind in Scotland covering crafts, fashion and textiles; writing and publishing; screen and broadcast; digital and technology and music, XpoNorth is a unique event in the UK's cultural calendar.

    Our Director, Jaki Love, will be chairing two panel discussions:

    1. Industry Insights: The World of Fashion and Craft Buyers

    Time: 2:15 - 3:45

    Date: Day 2, 28th June

    Venue: Studio 2, Eden Court

    Speakers: Kathy Shenoy, Commissions Project Manager at The New Craftsmen, Laurian Davies, International Business Development at UKFTAlex Munden, Photographer / Filmmaker, Brits around the World 

    Chair: Jaki Love, Director of Textiles Scotland

    Join industry experts for a workshop giving insights into the world of the fashion and craft markets.

    ShowTalk with Laurian Davies, UKFT and Alex Munden, Brits around the World.

    Overseas trade shows are still the route to market for fashion and textile designers and brands. The right exhibition will give you the exposure you need and the opportunity to meet potential retail and online buyers and agents.

    This session will cover which exhibition is right for you and how to get accepted, pre-show preparation and what buyers really want.

    2. The Power of Made in Scotland

    Time: 3:50 - 4:45

    Date: Day 2, 28th June

    Venue: Studio 2, Eden Court

    Speakers: Joan Johnston, Director of Bespoke Fabrics, and Jaki Love, Director of Textiles Scotland

    This session will explore trends and new market research findings surrounding the importance and power of the 'Made in Scotland' label.

    Join us and a whole host of creative heads from Scotland at XPo North on the 27th and 28th June.

    Register here.

  • 15-May-2018 4:55 PM | Kimberley White

    The Climate Change Levy was introduced as an energy tax payable by all business. However, some industrial sectors were offered a rebate in the Levy in return for agreeing to specific energy reduction targets.

    For the textile industry the wet processing sector (dyeing, printing coating and associated drying and finishing activities) along with spinning, weaving and knitting (and other similar processes) are eligible for the discount.

    UKFT have administered the CCL rebate scheme for the sector for over 15 years and on average companies are currently saving over £20,000 a year, but for large companies the savings can be over £100,000 a year.

    However, the discount scheme will be closed to new entrants at the end of the year and at the same time the Climate Change Levy rates will rise significantly from April 2019 – up 45% for electricity and 67% for gas. This will obviously see a rise in energy costs bills for members.

    If you are a dyer/printer/spinner/weaver or knitter and you are not currently claiming the CCL discount please get in touch ASAP with Adam Mansell at UKFT info@ukft.org.

  • 14-May-2018 4:09 PM | Kimberley White

    Are you a Scottish textile company committed to adapting and evolving your business? Are you looking to embed innovation across your people, products and processes? If so, Scottish Funding Council, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland have introduced a new ‘Textiles Connector’ service, following extensive consultation with the Scottish Textile Industry Leadership Group.

    Companies who have ambitious growth plans can submit an online enquiry and the Textile Connector will assist them to find the most appropriate business, innovation, and skills support available in Scotland. The service will encourage businesses to be become more innovative, to seek to develop their workforce and to ensure that the Scottish textile sector is able to take advantage of future global market opportunities.

    For businesses based in the Scottish Enterprise region, please visit SE textiles connector and for businesses based in the Highlands & Islands region, please visit HIE textile connector for further information.

  • 26-Apr-2018 3:46 PM | Kimberley White

    Murray Hogarth, like many others, are bursting at the seams with excitement in the lead up to the royal wedding. 

    To mark the occasion they are pleased to announce the design of their very own Hogarth British royal wedding scarf in royal navy blue.

    The special design has been hand drawn in-house by the talented Hogarth design team here in the UK and has been designed exclusively to celebrate the much-anticipated wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

    It has been woven in a cotton and silk blend so as to be lightweight and perfect for those bright summer days and celebrations in the sun. Available for a limited time only, they are expected to be snapped up quick as the nation gear up for the occasion of year.

    The print combines iconic British landmarks with classic USA stars and stripes, with a royal splash of red, white and blue to nod to the start of our British summer time. 

    Pick up your own exclusive scarf here and mark the occasion together with Hogarth.


  • 19-Apr-2018 3:28 PM | Kimberley White

    Laura Spring has been selected as the British Council Helsinki Design Resident for 2018.

    Laura has recently been researching an ancient Finnish weaving technique known as täkänä. She first discovered täkänä by accident back in 2015 whilst on a residency in Finland. Instantly drawn to the graphic aesthetics of the designs she saw in the old catalogues she discovered at a flea market, Laura was excited to find further parallels with her own work once she began further research into the technique. Thanks to Creative Scotland funding received last year, Laura was able to return to Finland and carry out a thorough period of research into the technique by visiting archives and meeting various experts in this field.

    Laura has been interested in Helsinki for many years due to a huge interest and love for Finnish textiles and design. Her täkänä research took her back to Finland several times in the past three years, but visits to Helsinki were always brief. Laura is excited to finally be able to spend a period of time based in Helsinki and build on the connections and conversations she began in those previous visits. 

    The Design Residency appealed to Laura as the theme of this year’s call (‘Arranging practice: Proximity, distance, instance’) resonated with her thinking as a designer. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to allow her the necessary time and space to further develop her täkänä based work reflecting on its cultural context as well as considering the balance and working methods within her own creative practice.

    Laura hopes to spend time researching successful contemporary design practices in Helsinki, asking questions regarding the importance of location, collaboration and how they define their practice. This will enable her to reflect and consider her own approaches to creating work, to consider the balance between hand-made and batch-produced and the importance of a collaborative approach to design. Laura also intends to further her research into täkänä to allow for exciting new outcomes for her work.

    Laura will take up her residency in Helsinki from 14 - 27 May and 13 August - 18 September 2018.

    This year, for the first time, British Council have also selected a Finnish designer in residence; Laura will be working alongside Elina Laitinen.

    Textiles Scotland look forward to hearing about how their respective research projects evolve.

    You can read Laura Spring's Member of the Moment interview here.

    Original article here

  • 17-Apr-2018 12:17 PM | Kimberley White

    The Fashion Revolution Scotland team are delighted to finally be able to forward all the details of 1138, a unique festival of events over 1138 minutes in celebration of Fashion Revolution Week - which will include an exclusive Edinburgh Film Screening of River Blue, Sustainable Fashion Fair, Swap Shop, Lunchtime Lectures and Workshops, Poetry Slam and a Club Night - taking place between 23rd-25th April.

    The festival of events is called 1138 and will be a reminder of the 1138 garment workers in died in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013. The whole project is run by volunteers who are passionate about fighting for a more ethical fashion future.

    The 1138 Festival, in celebration of Fashion Revolution Week, is being promoted through partnerships with Edinburgh University, The Edinburgh ReMakery and The Grassmarket Community Centre, as well as features in publications such as The Daily Record, but we need more help both locally and nationally to spread the word about this feel-good initiative.

    You can follow the event through the following social media links:




    #1138edinburgh #fashionrevolution #whomademyclothes

    Here is the full programme of events:


    7pm-9pm Riverblue

    Award winning documentary screening followed by Q+A with Niki Taylor and Vivienne Low, Sue Thomas and Aurelie Fontan.

    24th April - THE WEE RED BAR

    9:00- 10:00 Memory Breakfast

    The Memory Breakfast aims to spark a conversation about the issues of fast fashion. This is a great starting point for the second day of 1138 day allowing everybody a safe space to ask questions and explore the core goals of the Fashion Revolution!

    10:00-11:00 #whomademyclothes

    Show your label, take a selfie, tag the brand and ask #whomademyclothes and share on IG / FB / twitter. Out and about on the streets of Edinburgh!

    11:00-13:00 Sustainable Futures Lunchtime Lectures

    Various talks about issues regarding sustainability. Featuring Jason Love, who links scientific recycling with the art world through his work exploring the extraction of precious metals from waste electronic materials.

    13:30-16:00 Swap Shop

    Got some unwanted clothes? Swap them for some fresh new threads and help support change within the fashion industry at the 1138 Swap Shop. Rock up with your clean, good condition items. Want VIP entry before the hoards? Drop off between 10-11am and get access at 1pm.

    16:30-17:30 How To Shop with Colour Elements

    What comes first – identity or clothes? Can we learn how to shop for clothes or is it something that should come natural to us? With Karen Finlayson from Colour Elements.

    18:00-20:00 Fashion Fair and Pop Up Fashion Shoot

    Come and shop local at the 1138 Fashion Fair: meet some amazing Scottish brands that embrace quality and environmentally conscious design. Meet people from Fashion Revolution Scotland, Colour Elements and ASCUS Lab and ECA Fashion students sustainable design project.

    20:30-22:00 Poetry Slam

    Poetry, Rap and Spoken Word, taking on the issues of consumption, capitalism, environment, identity and fashion. Featuring both established and emerging poets this event will be an entertaining and challenging take on sustainability and ethics using spoken word and performance as a vehicle for discussion and change.

    22:00-03:00 Revival Club Night

    Dress code: second hand, vintage or maybe you'll come sporting one of your new swaps from the 1138 Swap Shop. With drinks promos and a line-up of disco, funk and soul REVIVAL promises to be a great night for everyone.


    Join us at the Edinburgh Remakery for this special one-off workshop in clothing and textile care with seamstress Gillian. It’s estimated that this Spring 235 million items of clothing will end up in landfill in the UK. So come and learn some some fun new skills that could not only save you money but also save your favourite dress, jumper or trousers from ending up in the bin! Please note that this workshop is limited to 10 people and spaces must be reserved on the Edinburgh Remakery website.


    Here is some more information about the organisation:

    Fashion Revolution is a global movement that works for a more sustainable fashion industry, campaigning for systemic reform of the industry with a special focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution is a non-profit organisation with a presence in over 100 countries around the world.

    April 2018 will mark the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse and the launch of Fashion Revolution. During that time, millions of people all over the world have joined Fashion Revolution to demand a fairer, more transparent industry. It is clear that brands are listening and we are holding them to account.

    To ensure they continue to listen and create the far reaching, permanent change needed to ensure we never see a tragedy like Rana Plaza again, we need everyone to join Fashion Revolution and keep asking one simple question: Who Made My Clothes?

    Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution Founder said:

    "Fashion is a reflection of the culture we live in, so together we must change the culture that surrounds it into one that demands positive leadership, transparency, accountability, and better lives all round. The fashion industry should lead on ethics and sustainability.”

    For further information and other ideas on how to get involved, including free downloads of images and graphics, visit www.fashionrevolution.org

  • 16-Apr-2018 8:48 PM | Kimberley White

    Angus-based textile specialist The Wilkie Group, has announced it has posted a 35% increase in turnover with net profits more than doubling, in its recently released annual accounts, during a Scotland Is Now Showcase in Beijing.

    A number of contracts from China, Europe as well as the USA have added to significant domestic wins for the company, reinforcing how international business can boost Scottish company growth.

    The globally recognised Wilkie Group has been at the forefront of innovation in the technical textile sector for 150 years and has a global footprint that includes manufacturing facilities in Scotland, China and India. The Wilkie Group has been operating in China since 2007, and in 2015 they opened a new £5m purpose built factory in Jiaxing near Shanghai.

    Following Jack Ellis Body Protection’s (a trading division of the Wilkie Group) recent win of a significant contract to supply protective vests to the Hong Kong Police and Customs authority, valued at £1.6m, the Wilkie Group invested in state of the art automatic cutting machinery. This enabled it to leverage its Advanced Textile Technology by increasing turn-around speed and offering high volume production of technically advanced protective vests to its domestic and international customers. This in combination with the high levels of service and technical expertise in body armour, makes the Wilkie Group’s trading division, Jack Ellis Body Protection, one of the leading UK companies in the body armour market.

    Scottish Development International (SDI), has worked with the Wilkie Group for many years, recently moving the company into its high growth scaling portfolio.

    Speaking at the Showcase, Julian Taylor, Executive Director for Asia Pacific at SDI, welcomed the announcement: “I am delighted to see the significant growth of this innovative Scottish company. The Wilkie Group developed its market leading Advanced Textile Technology product to stay relevant in an industry whose origins date back hundreds of years, winning new customers. They are delivering significant global growth in terms of both turnover and profits. Their business has world leading manufacturing in both China and Scotland, demonstrating both innovation and collaboration.”

    Jean-Christophe Granier, Managing Director, J&D Wilkie said: “I believe our recent win of the Hong Kong Police Force tender is a watershed moment for Jack Ellis Body Protection and the Wilkie Group – it recognises we have the right people, working hard in the right direction, to release the undeniable potential of our Advanced Textile Technology in our global market.

    “On behalf of Jack Ellis Body Protection and the Wilkie Group I would like to thank Scottish Enterprise and SDI for their assistance in making international trade and expansion easier with less barriers, whilst promoting Scotland’s image and skills overseas.”

    Original article here.

  • 12-Apr-2018 10:37 AM | Kimberley White

    As many of you know, the 23rd - 29th April is Fashion Revolution Week. Fashion Revolution Week is a #whomademyclothes campaign which falls on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1138 people and injured many more on 24th April 2013.

    During this week, brands and producers are encouraged to communicate with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain.

    This is an excellent opportunity for the Scottish fashion industry to communicate with a global audience and let them know #WhoMadeYourClothes.

    Textiles Scotland will be running a week-long social media campaign to celebrate Fashion Revolution Week and the wealth of Scottish fashion design talent on our shores.

    Calling all fashion designers

    If you are a Scottish fashion brand and want to benefit from this free promotional opportunity please send the following to kimberley@textilescotland.com:

    • High-res headshot of yourself - this must be a clear photograph.
    • A short bio in first person on who YOU are covering your name, your location, what you make, your inspiration for fashion design, and an interesting fact about yourself.
    • Links to your website and social media.
    • Details on any upcoming activity you would like us to promote.

    Please submit by Wednesday 18th April to be included in the campaign.

    We look forward to hearing from you!

  • 09-Apr-2018 12:14 PM | Kimberley White

    Bridge of Weir Leather have won Scottish Exporter of the Year at the Scottish Export Awards, sponsored by HSBC in association with Scottish Enterprise.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “These Awards are an opportunity to celebrate the international success of some of our most ambitious businesses. They have all successfully identified and seized new export opportunities around the world.

    “They represent a great example of what we want to see: globally successful Scottish companies producing cutting edge, high quality goods and services. In doing so, they are expanding their businesses, boosting Scotland’s economy and enhancing our international reputation.”

    Winning the overall award after securing the Large Exporter of the Year category, and with more than seventy years of export experience to thirty countries, the Bridge of Weir Leather Company is export focussed, and has always been looking for the best potential markets for its products.

    Karen Marshall, managing director of Bridge of Weir Leather, said: “For me it’s a privilege to be recognised, but it’s not about me, it’s about the more than 500 people who work for us. We are a manufacturing company and this success is in some part down to every single person who works for us day in day out from the people selling the leather to the people doing the manufacturing, so it’s a privilege to have this recognition for the hard work that they do.”

    Now focused on supplying leather to the automotive sector, they had previously been engaged in supplying the overseas furniture industry.

    Historically Bridge of Weir's roots can be traced back to 1758, seven generations of family involvement in leather manufacture.

    Bridge of Weir is the UK's only leather manufacturer of leather for the automotive industry and as part of the parent company Scottish Leather Group operates one of the largest tanning groups in Europe. Their customers include Volvo, Mercedes, and McLaren.

    Last year’s winner, John McGavigan, was recognised for the third consecutive year, this time as Scale-Up Exporter of the Year, whilst last year’s Ecommerce Exporter of the Year, Trtl, walked away with the Small Exporter prize for 2018. Food and drink firm Pure Malt Products were also double award winners on the night.

    BQ’s account director David Townsley opened the awards, commending the exporter of Scotland for their commitment to developing and deepening their international trade activity. He said: “To have had so many business enter the awards, and so many with amazing stories to tell, is really encouraging. Each year we hear brand new stories of businesses who are creating jobs as they increase their export markets.”

    Alison McGregor, the CEO of HSBC Scotland, said: “The Scottish Export Awards 2018 are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our exporters in Scotland. Congratulations to Bridge of Weir Leather for being named Scottish Exporter of the Year and to all the companies who have won awards for their success in exporting their products and services around the world.”

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