Scottish Textile News
Textile Scotland, now part of UKFT, was at XpoNorth last week for the two-day conference and showcase focused Scotland’s creative industries. The event brings together designers and creatives throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, covering craft, fashion and textiles; writing and publishing; screen and broadcast; digital and technology and music.
Paul Alger MBE, International Business Director at UKFT, and CEO Adam Mansell were there to talk to the fantastic companies from the Highlands and Islands, particularly around export opportunities. They also gave an overview of the ambitions for Textile Scotland as part of the wider UKFT network, while retaining its national Scottish focus.
HRH The Princess Royal visited the Begg & Co mill on Scotland’s west coast this week, in her role as President of the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT).
The company produces luxurious scarves, wraps and blankets from the finest cashmere, silk and wool blend yarns for the Begg & Co brand, as well as for some of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses, and has been proudly making in Scotland since 1866.
During her visit to Ayr, the UKFT President was shown the various stages of production at the mill, met with the skilled team members and was given an overview of the company’s impressive export business.
“We are delighted that HRH The Princess Royal took the time to meet so many of our employees and showed a strong interest in the craftsmanship that goes into making our world-leading products,” said Ian Laird, CEO of Begg & Co. “As an advocate of British textiles, she particularly appreciated the success and growth we’ve had in developing Begg & Co with prestigious retailers around the world.”
Paul Alger MBE, International Business Director at UKFT, said: “We are very pleased that HRH The Princess Royal and President of UKFT visited Begg & Co, which is a world-class mill with more than 150 skilled designers and craftspeople. The President is very interested to learn about manufacturing and to be part of promoting Scottish production and textiles. We look forward to more visits in the future.”
In recognition of the skills and talent within UK fashion and textile manufacturing, this year Her Royal Highness has embarked on a series of visits, from central London to Sheffield, the Cumbrian coast and Hertfordshire.
UKFT is working closely with the industry, as well as lobbying Government, to ensure that we create the right conditions for businesses like Begg & Co to thrive.
As the Sector Skills Body for fashion and textiles, UKFT is also working to secure more training and investment in the industry.
The visits form part of UKFT’s Let’s Make It Here initiative, in celebration of Britain’s rich manufacturing heritage.
UKFT’s Let’s Make It Here website allows designers and brands to search by product type, support services or location, to make it easier to source in the UK. The database covers all stages of the supply chain, including yarn, fabric, garments and accessories, as well as ancillary support services, such as pattern cutters. The website attracts significant interest, not only from the UK but globally, with many of the enquiries coming from overseas, providing those listed with export opportunities to promote the heritage, efficiency and craftsmanship of UK manufacturing.
The Department for International Trade, in collaboration with UKFT, is organising a trade mission to Prague in October to enable fashion and textile* brands to explore the enormous potential of the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region.
UK brands will be introduced to key buyers from the region as well as press. Attendees can find out more about potential partners in the CEE region, as well as retail and franchise opportunities.
The event, held on 16-17 October, will be based in Prague and DIT will use its international network to reach out to buyers from other CEE markets including Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia.
For more information, please see the attachment below.
UK Fashion and Textile Mission to CEE Save the date.pdf
Please express interest by 31 July 2019 to firstname.lastname@example.org
*Textiles in this instance refers to finished goods such as interior textiles, scarves, throws and accessories rather than textile collections for apparel, for example.
Help Craft Scotland understand the craft sector in Scotland and you could win £100 in book vouchers.
Craft Scotland is looking for help in gaining a clearer picture of the craft sector and the experiences of makers. They are also interested in how you think the sector should develop.
There are several sections to be completed but Craft Scotland know your time is precious so the survey should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete. It would be useful for you to have your financial information for the year 2018/19 to hand before you start the survey. For terms and conditions about the prize draw please visit the Craft Scotland website.
You can access the survey by clicking here. The survey will close at midnight, Sunday 28 July 2019.
Craft Scotland will publish the findings of the survey on their website in autumn/winter and will use the findings to support their advocacy and promotion of the sector.
A multi-disciplinary research team from Robert Gordon University’s fashion and computing schools are working with Shanghai academics to educate consumers about the craftsmanship, heritage and value of traditional fashion and textile products towards sustainability, both in the UK and in China.
The project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) UK-China Creative Industries Partnership Development Grant called ‘From Augmented to Authentic: Weaving the Past into the Future’ explores how immersive experience and techniques could be used to represent and preserve the history and heritage of traditional fashion and textile products.
It brings together a multi-disciplinary RGU research team: Yang Jiang, lecturer and researcher in Digital Media and Computer Animations & Gaming at the School of Computing; Karen Cross, course Leader for fashion management at the School of Creative and Cultural Business and Josie Steed, course leader for fashion and textile design at Gray’s School of Art; together with Professor Rong Zheng from the Donghua University and Shanghai International Fashion Innovation Centre, as well as UK and Chinese creative businesses and organisations within fashion and textiles.
Project lead Jiang said: “Our aim is to use modern, immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) to preserve the history and heritage of traditional fashion and textile products. We’re delighted to be attracting so much interest in our project from a range of organisations and businesses both here in the UK and in Shanghai.
“The project is one of only 14 national projects funded by the AHRC and the sole funded project from Scotland and the only project focusing on Fashion & Textiles in this funding scheme, a priority area for economic and cultural development for the Chinese Government.”
Steed said: “Fashion faces many challenges – the current generation of wearers is the first to be so far removed from how their clothing is produced and the prevalence of fast fashion has seen clothing reduced to transient items, worn for a short period of time, then discarded.”
“Fast fashion has pushed price downwards, moving textile and clothing production to low cost labour countries and decimating the traditional Scottish textile economy,” she added. “The surviving Scottish textile companies find it difficult to attract young people to work with them, leading to a skills shortage within the industry.
“Fast fashion also drives consumer need for newness, uses resources that are finite and damaging to the environment and creates much landfill waste.
“In 2018, the pressure to move towards a more sustainable fashion and textile industry has grown and this project seeks to explore ways to educate the consumer to the sustainability, craftsmanship, heritage and value of traditional fashion and textile products, using the growing medium of fashion film and immersive technologies.”
The project brings together a collaboration between RGU and Donghua University with the aim of building long-term and sustainable research and industry partnerships.
Steed said: “China and the UK both have long histories and cultural traditions related to textiles and clothing. Scotland’s tradition of tweed and tartan, cashmere and woollens continues to survive today through SMEs producing luxury products.
“A parallel can be drawn with China’s rich history of cultivating and producing beautiful silk products such as the Qi Pao, Han Fu and Song Jin, and to their position as one of the world’s largest textile and clothing producers. Fashion has embraced computer technology, with online sales continuing to grow and fashion film increasingly being used to market creative designs.”
Together they will research immersive techniques which could be used to represent and preserve the history and heritage of traditional fashion and textile products, and transfer them into modern design to meet the current and future fashion trends.
So far an academic and industry team has visited Shanghai during Shanghai Fashion Festival in April and an academic visit to further the collaboration with their Chinese partners is planned shortly.
The team have just launched a website documenting their on-going research at a recent 2-day workshop hosted at RGU and co-funded by the AHRC and The Scottish Informatics & Computer Science Alliance (SICSA). It brought together academics across architecture, computing and the creative industries across Scotland together with textile businesses and organisations including Harris Tweed Hebrides, Montrose Rope & Sail and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland to explore the opportunities and research and industrial challenges that exist in the areas of fashion/textiles and technology with the overall aim of creating a multidisciplinary team for building a consortium for a larger project later this year.
The Scottish Textiles Showcase is now open at the Tron Kirk, Royal Mile Edinburgh, offering a curated selection of Scottish textile accessories.
The retail store has been launched to celebrate the craftsmanship skills of the talented makers around the country and develop textiles tourism to rural mills across Scotland.
The shop is open daily from 10am until 7pm.
Find out more here
Andrew Elliot throws
Textile Scotland members, now part of UKFT, are invited to Mapping Paisley’s Textile Trade which runs until Saturday 6th July in Paisley.
The exhibition of woven textiles, made by professional weavers Heather Shields and Shielagh Tacey and the participants of their workshops, marks the conclusion of their two-year part time residency with Sma’ Shot Cottages.
The official launch will be held on Friday 28th June from 6-8pm at Made in Paisley, 69 High Street, Paisley, PA1 2AY.
All events are free but booking is advised as places are limited. Please RSVP to email@example.com
Textile Scotland members can now benefit from a wide range of HR and employment support through being part of UKFT.
UKFT’s dedicated employment and HR experts provide assistance, advice and support to companies of all sizes, from small businesses to large retailers.
With years of employment relations experience in the fashion and textile industry at local and national level, UKFT can provide guidance on a range of issues including:
UKFT has considerable experience with regards to advising members on:
Members are able to access the following UKFT employment guides:
UKFT also provides its members with a series of draft policies to help ensure companies keep up to date with HR issues. UKFT draft policies are available on:
If you find yourself facing an Employment Tribunal, UKFT offers a special service to members. Our employment specialist will assist with any aspect of the procedure, including preparing initial documentation, taking witness statements and representation at the Tribunal. This service is chargeable in addition to your membership fee.
UKFT will also help members to write their own Company Handbook, geared specifically to their own circumstances and covering all the areas they deem important.
Historically, the industry has relied heavily on recruiting unpaid interns. However, the legal position concerning interns has now changed. It is the view of HMRC that an intern, over the age of 21, must be paid at least the national living wage.
It is therefore essential that if you are offering internships, you are aware of your legal obligations to your interns. UKFT’s sister organisation the British Fashion Council has produced a best practice guide on employing interns.
The National Agreement between UKFT and GMB and the sister one between UKFT and Community have been the cornerstone of industrial relations harmony in the industry for the best part of 100 years.
The Agreements are widely used also in non-unionised companies and also figure prominently in individual contracts of employment and statements of terms and conditions.
The HR and Employment service is available to non UKFT and Textile Scotland members on a fee basis. Additional fees may apply for Textile Scotland members subject to membership level.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Textile Scotland members can now access the wealth of export experience available as part of the wider UKFT network. The UKFT export team can help you develop an export strategy, advise on which markets to enter, the right route to market and how present your collection in the best way to buyers.
As part of our export activities UKFT administers the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) export grant scheme. Grants are available at the following upcoming shows.
Our Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) is currently underway and UKFT will be off to Pitti Uomo in Florence next week with a record number of grant-supported UK menswear brands. The full programme can be viewed here and many events are now waiting list-only. There is still limited availability for:
Please contact Noleen.email@example.com for details
UKFT has a wealth of experience leading new and established fashion and textile exporters on their journey to international success. With support from the Department for International Trade (DIT), UKFT takes around 700 brands and companies to approximately 40 overseas tradeshows and showrooms each year, covering menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, lingerie, footwear, swimwear and accessories, plus home textiles, technical textiles and apparel textiles.
SEE US AT XPONORTH: Paul Alger UKFT’s director of international business and Adam Mansell CEO will be at XpoNorth talking about export opportunities for Scottish companies.
Leigh Bagley, a contemporary textile and pattern designer, has completed major arts project stretching across two buildings at the Stirling Health and Care Village – the GP and Minor Injuries Centre and the Bellfield Rehabilitation Centre.
Bagley, a member of Textile Scotland (now part of UKFT), developed a broad canvas including art walls, a suite of prints and additional 3D works, all with a focus on emotional health and wellbeing.
The first stage of the project involved the design and installation of nineteen new art walls and three large scale murals in the Bellfield Centre. The high impact and decorative interiors have been designed to evoke freshness, wellness and familiarity to the corridors, giving a sense of emotional comfort through colour. During the design process Bagley aimed to create environments that are both uplifting and soothing, which in turn aid in decreasing frustration and boredom in people with dementia.
For the second strand of the project, Bagley curated a contemporary collection of Limited Edition prints housed within the Healthcare village buildings. The artworks complement the aesthetic narrative of the mural and art wall spaces creating a visual dialogue as patients, staff and visitors navigate the interior. The artworks feature a variety of top artists and print designers including Scott Campbell, Diane Bresson, Rory Strudwick, Kitty McCall, Simon C Page, Ryan Hughes, Kevin Cleary, Hey Studio and many more.
A graduate of the renowned Royal College of Art in London, Bagley set up his textiles design studio in 2012 retailing as Limited Edition artwork.
“Through a highly contemporary approach I hope I have demonstrated how pattern, print and colour can be transformative and uplifting for both patients and visitors, challenging traditional approaches to art for public healthcare buildings,” he said. “I directly take influence from everyday surroundings and a love of modernist and abstract aesthetics.
Leigh is also a lecturer at the Glasgow School of Art, imparting his love of pattern and colour which enables him to share his knowledge for the benefit of future designers and makers.
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