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Scottish Textile News

  • 11-Feb-2020 2:52 PM | Anonymous

    A trade barrier is something that slows down, limits or prevents a UK business exporting to or investing in an overseas market. After the UK’s exit from the EU we can expect new barriers for Scotland’s exporters. Trade barriers make imported goods and services less competitive than those produced locally, e.g.:

    • tariffs and taxes imposed to protect, or favour, local producers
    • unfair use of state help or subsidies
    • excessive labelling rules or burdensome customs procedures
    • restrictive government procurement rules and practices
    • technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures that are not in line with the WTO’s Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement
    • poor protection of intellectual property rights and geographical indicators
    • misuse of sanitary and phytosanitary measures (food safety, plant/ animal health)
    • restrictions on access to raw materials
    • barriers to trade in services and investment, such as unjustified foreign ownership caps, joint venture obligations and discriminatory treatment

    Last year the UK Government’s trade team launched a UK-wide tool. Businesses, representative organisations and industry bodies can access the tool to log any barriers.

    The Scottish Government is now part of the UK-wide team which receives information on trade barriers from businesses in the UK, focusing on those impacting Scotland.

    Report a trade barrier at https://www.great.gov.uk/report-trade-barrier/

    Please also let Textiles Scotland, part of UKFT, know about your problem so we can support and track your application. Contact jaki@textilescotland.com


  • 06-Feb-2020 5:30 PM | Anonymous

    Scotland’s international textile exports reached £360m in 2018, up 10.1% on the previous year, according to the latest export statistics from Scottish Government.

    Of this figure, £205m was exported to the EU during 2018, accounting for 57% of total international exports.

    The industry exported a further £305m to the UK in 2018, which increased 12.3% year-on-year.

    Scotland’s total exports (to the rest of the UK and internationally) reached £665m in 2018, up 11.1% on the previous year.

    The figures reflect the manufacture of textiles, wearing apparel and leather.

    Read the latest figures here.

    Textile Scotland, as part of UKFT, is developing a new export strategy to enable the Scottish fashion and textile industry to continue to grow. Find out more about how we can help you grow your export sales or our current grant-supported programme here.

  • 03-Feb-2020 10:28 AM | Anonymous

    Innovate UK has opened a new £25m fund to support game-changing and commercially viable innovative or disruptive ideas.

    Smart is the new name for Innovate UK’s ‘Open grant funding’ programme.

    Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, is investing up to £25 million in the best. All proposals must be business focused.

    Applications can come from any area of technology and be applied to any part of the economy, such as but not exclusively:

    • the arts, design and media
    • creative industries
    • science or engineering

    Innovate UK welcomes projects that overlap with the grand challenge areas but this is not a requirement, as it is also keen to support projects in other areas.

    The organisation may consider eligible project costs over £2 million (but not exceeding £3 million), subject to the process set out under ‘Eligibility’.

    This competition closes at midday 12:00pm UK time on Wednesday 22 April.

    Find out more


  • 09-Jan-2020 12:40 PM | Anonymous

    Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) is offering grants of up to £18,000 to talented and aspiring craftspeople in a range of disciplines.

    The scholarships fund the education and training of any individual UK resident, aged 17 or older, who would like to improve their craft skills.

    QEST has been supporting craftspeople and championing excellence in craft since 1990. It funds traditional college courses, vocational training or one to one training with a master craftsperson.

    The charity wants to support excellence in British craftsmanship so is looking for established makers, planning to stay in the UK and contribute to the craft sector.

    QEST encourages applications from a broad range of crafts and are excited by contemporary craftsmanship and innovative applications of traditional craft techniques.

    Applications close on 10 February.

    For more information, please visit https://www.qest.org.uk/scholarships/apply-now/


  • 12-Dec-2019 10:38 AM | Anonymous

    Last year in a survey, almost 80% of Textile Scotland members said that the growth and success of their business would be through product and process innovation. To ensure our industry continues to grow and thrive, Textiles Scotland secured funding to support a PhD student at Strathclyde University for the next three years to explore how the textile sector can benefit from digitisation and innovation.

    Paulius Stulga began his PhD in October this year. We caught up with him to find out more about the project and how Scottish companies can benefit from his research.

    Paulius Stulga

    Tell us a bit about yourself:

    My name is Paulius Stulga. I am from Lithuania, and for the past nine years I lived in Denmark, where I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. My work experience includes working as a production consultant for the Danish Technological Institute in the Centre for Robot Technology. I also worked as a research assistant for Aalborg University in Denmark. Currently I am working on a PhD at Strathclyde University focused on unlocking the potential of digitalisation in the Scottish textiles industry.

    What industries have you already worked in?

    Having worked as a production consultant in the largest Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) in Denmark, I had the opportunity to explore their vast industrial network. I was involved in digitalisation projects within the wood, metal and OEM industries. Most importantly, I worked a lot with smart technology start-ups that were eager to promote and implement their solutions in the real world. As an RTO, we had the capability to help launch collaboration projects between manufacturing companies and the technology start-ups in order to drive “digital change” and bring more value into their every-day operations and make their resources more efficient. In general, I would summarise that I have worked with many people from different industries and with different backgrounds.

    How do you think companies in the textile sector can benefit from digitalisation and innovation?

    There are many ways how the textiles sector can benefit from digitalisation. Because of its broad definition, it can mean different things for different companies. For manufacturers, it will provide more efficient processes and operations, perhaps a more streamlined supply chain. For retailers, it can bring benefit by finding new ways to interact with their customers, for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) it will bring new smart products.

    I understand that not everybody has the same capability to involve themselves into something that is still quite new and still hard to wrap your head around all the buzzwords such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, but the picture is becoming clearer both in the academic world and in real world. A lot of different initiatives are being started that help companies learn more about what Industry 4.0 is, and this could help identifying what that means for a particular company. It is important to identify what is useful for an individual company’s case so that the right tools and technologies can be chosen, especially having in mind their resources as a constraint.

    There is so much information and technology out there, it becomes difficult to choose the right path, and more importantly, there is no implementation guide for any specific company with a specific problem in mind.

    I think it would be great to show the textiles industry some use cases of Industry 4.0, and describe in practice how can digitalisation be adopted – this will be my focus for the project.

    What other industry sectors are already benefiting from digital strategies?

    I would say that every industry finds their own benefit from digital strategies, the main observation is that these adoptions are taken by larger enterprises, who have a better capability to explore and implement digitalisation projects into their organisations.

    Wind energy companies such as Siemens and Vestas are utilising cloud services to collect data and monitor their efficiency factors from their wind turbines.

    Pump manufacturer Grundfos are making smart products and can collect a lot of data from their pumps that are used in real world and send it back to HQ in order to tailor operational parameters for their customers.

    In my personal experience, having worked with smaller enterprises, it was always exciting to start dialogues about digitalising their production and how we can make it work for them.

    To give an example, I worked with a medium-sized hardwood floor manufacturer where we started developing a smart sensor platform to measure their temperature and humidity throughout their nine-building manufacturing and warehousing facility.

    There was also an exciting R&D project where we tried to modify older manufacturing equipment with IoT technology in order to collect more production data and link it with other operational data around the factory and create a more digital manufacturing environment.

    How can textile companies access and benefit from your research?

    The end goal is to create a guideline for the textiles industry towards understanding Industry 4.0 better and present some use cases along the way. Having the next three years to commit to this project, I aim to develop a useful information toolbox and involve the industry as much as possible towards exploiting different Industry 4.0 technologies and concepts.

    It will be a great opportunity for the textiles sector to get up-to-date with this buzzword, as well as understanding what it means for their business and how they can benefit from it.

    How can Textile Scotland member companies contact you?

    I am physically located in the heart of Glasgow at the Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management Department of Strathclyde University.

    I am in close contact with the Director of Textiles Scotland, Jaki Love, who provides a lot of support for this project, and could be a point of contact as well.


    If you are interested in participating in our digitalisation research please contact me at paulius.stulga@strath.ac.uk or Jaki at jaki@textilescotland.co.uk


  • 10-Dec-2019 1:11 PM | Anonymous

    Craft Scotland has revealed the designers and makers selected to be showcased at Collect, the international art fair for modern craft and design from Thursday 27 February to Sunday 1 March 2020.

    Craft Scotland for the first time will have its own dedicated gallery space making it a real focal point of Collect 2020; showcasing covetable artworks in silversmithing & goldsmithing, furniture making, ceramics, textiles and blacksmithing. A mixture of established artists and exciting new craft talent, the eight makers selected represent some of the most celebrated makers working in Scotland today.


    Following a rigorous selection process, one of the eight chosen is Araminta Campbell, who is a member of Textiles Scotland part of UKFT and creates textile work which takes inspiration from Scotland’s landscape to create carefully sourced hand woven pieces.



    The other makers chosen include Daniel Freyne, Hamish Dobbie, Angus Ross, Jonathan Wade, Mella Shaw, Naomi McIntosh and Rhona McCallum.

    Speaking ahead of the show Craft Scotland Director, Irene Kernan said: “We are delighted to be returning to Collect in 2020 as with every year the reputation of the Craft Scotland showcase grows. Last year saw significant acquisitions of Scottish craft by the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and the National Museum of Northern Ireland. We look forward to championing the work of these eight Scotland-based makers whose craft embraces experimental techniques and innovative materials and plays with scale and perceptions of materiality. It’s these qualities married to an ambition to push the boundaries of their work that makes Scottish craft so highly sought after at events like Collect. With sales averaging £30,000 across the four days of the event in recent years we hope the makers will enjoy financial benefits as well as professional ones.”

    Jessica Bonehill, Creative Industries Officer (Crafts), Creative Scotland said: “Showcasing Scottish work at Somerset House this year will highlight craft as one of Scotland’s strengths. The ambitious and thoughtful work selected represents the innovative ways makers in Scotland are re-imagining their fields and enriching our understanding of what it means to make craft today.”

  • 21-Nov-2019 2:36 PM | Anonymous


    Textiles Scotland, part of UKFT, held the first meeting of the new Industry Leadership Group (ILG) this week at MacRoberts LLP in Glasgow. The ILG, which reflects the size and diversity of the fashion and textile industry in Scotland, exists to create a broad strategy for the industry in Scotland and act as an interface between the industry and government. 

    The ILG comprises Fiona Waldron of Heriot Watt University, menswear designer Kestin Hare, Jan Young of Barrie Knitwear, Simon Cotton of Johnstons of Elgin, Aidan Queen, Schofields Dyers & Finishers, James Lang of the Scottish Leather Group, James Dracup of Macnaughtons, Solli Brodie of BeFab Be Creative, Vixy Rae of Stewart Christie, Lorna Macaulay of Harris Tweed Authority, Jean-Christophe Granier of the Wilkie Group, Iain Laird of Begg and Co, Paul Walker of Walker Slater and Jan Young of Barrie Knitwear.

    Simon Cotton, CEO of Johnstons of Elgin, was elected as chair of the group.

    The ILG agreed to focus on developing an export strategy and a skills strategy that focuses on all aspects of the industry from manufacturing to design to the provision of education and training.

    For more information contact: info@textilescotland.com

  • 13-Nov-2019 4:55 PM | Anonymous

    The Department for International Trade (DIT) is inviting UK-based companies to register their interest to submit exhibits as part of the UK Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

    The exhibition will cover the UK’s history, key influencers, how we collaborate with other nations, and the future innovations in areas such as AI, Space, Robotics, education and R&D, telling the story of the UK from 1851 through to 2050. It will feature the UK’s world-class products and services, such as UK fashion and textiles, which will be viewed by the general public at the event, as well as global business leaders, senior government officials, celebrities and VIPs.

    Expo 2020 Dubai will be held for 173 days, seven days a week, featuring 192 country pavilions and 60 live shows daily. It will be the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. Expo 2020 is expected to attract 25 million visits, with 70% of visitors projected to come from outside the UAE.

    Find out more about the UK Pavilion here.

    Specific exhibition requirements

    The exhibition will sit in a number of vitrines which are display cabinets at hip height. Visitors are looking through glass into the vitrines as they walk up and down the maze.

    DIT is looking for contributions in the following formats that align with its themes:

    • Case study and imagery
    • Video content
    • Audio recordings
    • AR asset
    • Physical asset (maximum size allowed is 2m (length) x0.8m (width) x1m (drop)

    Please take into account regional requirements as well. The exhibition will be outside with warm temperatures (up to 50ºC) and the exhibition will be in English and Arabic.

    If you are interested in this opportunity, DIT would like to find out a bit more about what your company has to offer. Deadline for initial interest is 20 November 2019.

    Register your interest here.

  • 25-Oct-2019 8:56 AM | Anonymous

    Textiles Scotland, now part of UKFT, is undertaking a review of a range of National Occupational Standards for the UK fashion and textile industry, covering Manufacturing Sewn Products, Manufacturing Textile Products and Footwear, Leathergoods and Leather Production.

    National Occupational Standards (NOS) are the recognised standards that our industry works and trains by. They provide the foundation content of qualifications, training, apprenticeships and professional development across the UK.

    NOS are developed and reviewed by employers from across the industry to ensure they keep pace with changing industry needs. The last review of the standards took place in 2015 and we now urgently need to bring them up to-date and in line with industry practice.

    To this end, UKFT are leading a series of review meetings with employers across the four nations and conducting this online, open consultation.

    The open consultation is the chance for you to influence the standards and provide reassurance on whether they are fit for purpose as they are, or if they need to be changed.

    To complete the consultation, you will need to follow the link below and fill out the online survey. But please note, you do not need to read and comment on all the NOS units! We’re only asking you to read and comment on the ones that are relevant for you and your business. The deadline for feedback is 15 November.

    The documents should be self-explanatory, but if you have any questions please feel free to contact john.west@ukft.org or Celia.thornley@ukft.org.

    Please complete the relevant consultation below.

    Manufacturing Textile Products

    Manufacturing Sewn Products

    Footwear, Leathergoods & Leather Production


  • 23-Oct-2019 1:47 PM | Anonymous

    A no deal Brexit does remain a possibility, although the political environment and timing remains changeable. Textiles Scotland, part of UKFT, is inviting companies to join a webinar on 28 October or register to receive a free Brexit guidance checklist.

    The webinar and the UKFT Brexit Checklist provide companies with the information they need to plan for the impact of a no deal. The webinar will also allow companies to explore the various alternative outcomes and the impact they might have on fashion and textile businesses.

    Get the Checklist here.

    Register for the webinar here.



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