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Scottish Textile News

  • 17-Oct-2018 1:10 PM | Kimberley White

    Apply to exhibit and sell your work at the Handmade Designer Maker section of NY NOW, an international trade fair in February 2019.

    NY NOW is a four-day wholesale / trade event held twice annually in New York. In February 2019, Craft Scotland will be participating in the show, taking a group of UK-based makers to New York to exhibit and sell their work to international trade buyers.

    Craft Scotland is now an accredited Trade Challenge Partner (TCP) of the Department for International Trade and through this partnership, will lead the group of makers to NY NOW within the Handmade Designer Maker section of the show. This part of the show showcases around 350 exhibitors. NY NOW has been established for 30+ years, and is the leading market for contemporary design across home, lifestyle, handmade and gift products. It will be open from Sunday 3 to Wednesday 6 February 2019, taking place at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

    Craft Scotland will take twelve makers to the show and has secured twelve Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) grants of £2,000 for each successful maker (providing they meet the eligibility criteria). Each maker will have their own space at the show which will be part of a larger Craft Scotland presence.

    Applications are invited from makers working across all craft disciplines: ceramics, wood, jewellery, glass, textiles, furniture, lighting, leather, basketry, bookbinding, millinery, mosaics and more.

    This opportunity is suitable for both established and emerging makers who produce affordable, high-quality craft and are wholesale ready. Craft Scotland welcome applications from talented makers at all stages of their career. This is a great opportunity for makers wishing to wholesale their work to an international audience.

    Follow the link for more information and to apply via the online application form.

    Please submit your TAP Grant application form via email to Jo Scott, Project Manager, jo@craftscotland.org

    Deadline: 5pm, Monday 29 October 2019

  • 02-Oct-2018 4:51 PM | Kimberley White

    Crùbag are pleased to be among 11 finalists from around the world who were chosen to pitch in Geneva at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for the Open to Export International Business Awards.

    The Scottish textile design start-up is the only company representing the UK in Geneva this week. Crùbag create designs and sustainable luxury accessories based on unseen aspects of our oceans which they print on textiles, such as scarves, pocket squares, bow-ties, cushions and napkins.

    The ocean-inspired inspirational luxury products are sustainably made using natural fabrics like silk and cashmere. Collections are developed in collaboration with marine scientists, showing aspects of their work and products are accompanied by science outreach information. They are based on algae and pathogens interactions, phytoplankton seen under the microscope, hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the deep sea and the Arctic amongst others.

    The “Open to Export” International Business Awards will be presented on 4th October 2018, where 11 inspiring SMEs will travel to Geneva to pitch their businesses at a showcase final event for the chance to win $5000 towards their export strategies.

    The competition invited companies from anywhere in the world to enter their completed ‘Export Action Plans’. The ‘Export Action Plan’ tool allows SMEs to take ownership of their export strategies in a systematic way, encouraging them to take decisions along each step of their international trade journey – from selecting a market to delivering products or services to new customers.

    The final is taking place at the World Trade Organisation’s Public Forum – a gathering of thousands of senior figures from international business, governments and media. The Awards have been run as part of the ‘WTO-ICC Small Business Champions’ initiative, showing that The Institute of Export & International Trade – our backers – are leading the way in encouraging SMEs to enter world trade.

    The finalists are a varied collection, coming from multiple sectors and hailing from all corners, including St Kitts, Zambia, Mongolia, Armenia and Peru.

    For more information about the award please visit:


    For more info about Crùbag please visit:


  • 24-Sep-2018 3:08 PM | Kimberley White

    “If a T-shirt threatens to be cheaper than a croissant, it’s time to act.”

    - Lidewij Edelkoort

    Lidewij Edelkoort is one of the world’s most famous trends forecasters and has been calling for human and environmentally friendly fashion production for some time.

    Edelkoort believes that the drive for ever-leaner supply chains in manufacturing has led to a "rapid and sordid restructuring process, which has seen production leave the western world to profit from and exploit low-wage countries."

    At recent yarn fairs, (Pitti Filati, Filo and Premiere Vision yarns) sustainability was the most talked of subjects; with spinners reporting customers are increasingly asking for more sustainable and responsible yarns.

    The launch of the Circular Fibres Initiative at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in 2017, aims to encourage the collaboration needed from fashion-industry heavyweights such as Inditex to reform the textile supply chain, so everything is reused in a continuous cycle.

    The initiative brings together stakeholders from across the industry including brands, cities, philanthropists, NGOs, and innovators to collaborate and create a new textiles economy, aligned with the principles of the circular economy.

    In October this year, a new sustainable fashion experience called Fashion for Good will open in Amsterdam. This will be an interactive technology driven museum focusing on sustainable and circular fashion innovation. The museum aims to change the hearts and minds of visitors by helping them discover the stories behind their clothes, learn how they can take action and explore how they can have an impact on both an industry and at international level.

    Fashion for Good believes that changing the fashion industry is only possible when both the the industry and consumers change. The museum aims to showcase both sides of the story, looking at innovations within the industry on both a supply chain and a product level. It aims to provide visitors with a new outlook on fashion, empowering them with information on tangible actions that they can take to help affect change.

    Raising awareness both at industry and consumer level, the creation of the museum highlights the increasing importance of sustainability within a globalised fashion industry which has been supported by international corporate partners including Adidas, C&A and PVH Corp.

    Here in the UK, a new inquiry has been launched by the House of Commons environmental audit committee, which will explore the carbon impact, resource use and water footprint of clothing throughout its lifecycle and supply chain.

    MPs are to investigate the environmental impact of throwaway “fast fashion” in the UK amid growing concerns that the multi-billion pound industry is wasting valuable resources and contributing to climate change.

    A woman photographs French artist Christian Boltanski’s ‘No Man’s Land’, made up of around 30 tonnes of discarded clothing. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

    Inviting evidence on how the influential sector should remodel itself to be both “thriving and sustainable”, it will look at how improved recycling rates of clothing could slash waste and pollution.

    “Fashion shouldn’t cost the Earth” said Mary Creagh MP, chair of the committee. “But the way we design, make and discard clothes has a huge environmental impact. Producing clothes requires climate-changing emissions. Every time we put on a wash, thousands of plastic fibres wash down the drain into the oceans. We don’t know where or how to recycle end-of-life clothing.”

    The raw materials used to manufacture clothes require land and water, or extraction of fossil fuels, while carbon dioxide is emitted throughout the clothing supply chain and some chemical dyes, finishes and coatings may be toxic. Research has found that plastic microfibres in clothing are released when they are washed, and enter rivers, the ocean and even the food chain.

    Recent negative publicity revealing how luxury brand, Burberry, burnt £28.6m ($37.2m in U.S. dollars) worth of bags, clothes and perfume to protect its brand has illustrated what most consumers and even fashion professionals don’t realise is that this is a common practise in the fashion industry and not just consigned to Burberry. Every year the fashion industry burns billions of dollars worth of unsold clothes, footwear, and accessories in order to protect their brand.

    Last year the fashion designer Stella McCartney condemned her own industry as “incredibly wasteful and harmful to the environment.”

    A Stella McCartney campaign shot in a Scottish landfill site to raise awareness of waste and over-consumption. Photograph: Harley Weir and Urs Fischer for Stella McCartney

    Key to the government inquiry will be how consumers could be encouraged to buy fewer clothes, reuse clothes and think about how best to dispose of clothes when they are no longer wanted. An estimated 300,000 tonnes of fashion waste goes straight into landfill each year, despite growing efforts to encourage consumers to recycle their worn and unwanted clothing.

    There is no doubt that there is a growing challenge to find ways of balancing consumerism with environmental concerns which will require creative solutions both in materials and construction in the future.

    Words by Fiona Chautard

    About the author: Fiona is a qualified business coach, experienced mentor and advisor to the creative industries with a specialism in fashion, textiles and design.

  • 30-Aug-2018 12:32 PM | Kimberley White

    Fashion Foundry have this week announced a brand new award for the Scottish fashion industry.

    Attending an international trade show or showroom at one of the major events in the international fashion calendar is still considered one of the best ways to gain exposure for your brand and connect with international buyers.

    The first Fashion Foundry Award supports fashion businesses attending an international trade show by providing funding and industry expertise before, during and after the show.


    - £2000 Grant to attend an International Trade Show between January 2019 and March 2019. The grant will be paid following acceptance and attendance at a supported show or showroom.

    - Travel grant of £150 to visit UKFT in London for a pre-show application meeting.

    - Brand Consultancy session with Kevin Harding, Brand Consultant.

    - Focused business development session with the team at Johnstons of Elgin or Alex Begg to review your international strategy and show preparation.

    - Pre and post show support from Fashion Foundry Director & Producer and Industry Experts.


    - You are a Sole Trader, Partnership or Company registered in Scotland.

    - You have a minimum of three stockists, UK or International.

    -Turnover of £25K +

    - Significant online sales and press interest.

    - You must have been accepted or intend to apply for a UKFT- supported trade show.

    - You must be eligible for a TAP grant.

    - You must be able to attend a pre-show support meeting with our brand consultants to review your international strategy and help you prepare between September 2018 and January 2019.

    - Agree to submit a show report, to be completed 1 month after the show, that will be shared on the Fashion Foundry website.

    - Agree to press and promotion of the award.

    Key dates

    Deadline for applications Fridays 5th October 2018.

    Telephone Interviews will be on Wednesday 10th or Thursday 11th October 2018

    Apply here

  • 29-Aug-2018 3:45 PM | Kimberley White

    As the industry body passionately supporting the design and manufacture of textiles in Scotland, we pride ourselves on our vast network of contacts.

    We are on the hunt to help out a couple of organisations in need of materials and  machines; Rosemount Lifelong Learning Centre, and the Salisbury Centre.

    Rosemount Lifelong Learning Centre

    Rosemount Lifelong Learning Centre is a community based charity in Royston, Glasgow with the mission to increase life chances through learning for children, young people and adults living in Royston and wider North Glasgow. Rosemount operate various services in the community including children and family services, addictions, activities, volunteering opportunities, community learning and education. They are interested in starting up their own community sewing group at the centre. 

    Can you donate?

    • Sewing machines
    • Old fabric stock
    • Offcuts

    Please contact: Christine Towers.

    Salisbury Centre

    The Salisbury Centre are a Mind, Body and Spirit Centre promoting meditation, well being, and therapies. They are looking to offer daytime sewing and cushion making courses.

    Can you donate?

    • Sewing machines
    Please contact: Sarah Gardener.
  • 24-Aug-2018 10:39 AM | Kimberley White

    Fashion Foundry is launching the 4th season of the successful emerging designer programme, this time offering three creatives a 7-month residency in the Glasgow studio, with support and mentoring from industry experts.

    Each designer awarded a place on the programme is paired with a creative mentor and coach chosen to help provide a tailored programme of support allowing the designer time, space and industry expertise to develop their brand and build their business.


    - Desk Space in Fashion Foundry Studio - Located in South Block, Glasgow.

    - 24/7 Access to Studio & Sampling Room - Allowing you to design, develop and make prototypes and small production runs.

    - Go See Grant - £250 to attend a trade show or visit a showroom.

    - Maker Grant - £200 to spend with a manufacturer to assist with prototyping and range development.

    - Brand photography - Worth £500.

    - Coaching Sessions - Access to a performance coach who will help you take your next steps, and help to plan your personal and brand's development. Worth £500.

    - Creative Mentor Sessions - Regular individual sessions to look at areas such as range planning, brand positioning, quality & finish. Worth £500.

    - Group Business Workshops - Hosted by a range of business experts in areas such as branding, audience development, social media, e-commerce, crowdfunding & finance. Worth £500.

    - Individual / Bespoke Business Advice - from experts in areas such as Intellectual Property, Company structure, VAT, Exporting. Worth £500.

    - Networking opportunities.


    - You must be a fashion or fashion accessories designer

    - Your business must be registered in Scotland as a Sole Trader, Partnership, Social Enterprise or Limited Company.

    - You must be able to dedicate a minimum of 3 full days a week in the Studio in Glasgow.

    - You must be able to attend all coaching, mentor and business sessions.

    - Agree to complete a progress report, an end of program survey and follow-up surveys.

    - Agree to press and promotion of your brand linked to fashion foundry.

    Key dates

    - Deadline for applications Monday 10 September 2018.

    - Interviews will be on Wednesday 19 September 2018 Fashion Foundry Studio, South Block Glasgow.

    - Studio residency begins 25 September 2018 and runs until April 2019.


    £100 per month

    Apply here

  • 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.

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