Nine collaborative R&D projects were approved in the first funding call from Future Fashion Factory, a £5.4 million programme supporting collaborative R&D in the UK fashion design and textile industry.
Yorkshire mills, bespoke tailors, and fashion brands are among the companies set to benefit from over £645,000 of investment in new, industry-led research and development (R&D) following the first funding call.
Future Fashion Factory is part of the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, an £80 million initiative led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The Programme is led by the University of Leeds in partnership with the University of Huddersfield and Royal College of Art.
The successful projects focus on challenges faced by businesses across the fashion and textile industry, including:
- A digital system for enhanced accuracy and efficiency of the wool dyeing process (Abraham Moon & Sons Ltd.)
- A process to digitally evaluate, relay and visualise the aesthetics of textile fabrics to users in a different location (Advanced Dyeing Solutions / Roaches International)
- Digitising early designs from Leeds Industrial Museum to produce a ‘new heritage’ fabric for electronic jacquard manufacture (AW Hainsworth / Yorkshire Textiles)
- Design of a modular mattress product (Deluxe Beds)
- Reducing the lead time on a UK made-to-measure suit from 6-8 weeks to 48 hours (Gieves & Hawkes)
- Market assessment of high value recycled cashmere products manufactured in the UK (Joshua Ellis)
- Development of immersive technology for staff training in large-scale textile production (Laxtons)
- Data analytics supported market research of new outerwear product lines (Whiteford Felt & Fillings)
- Developing a new digital analysis system for quantitative prediction of the effect of selected process conditions on fabric handle and finish (WT Johnson & Sons)
Stephen Russell, Future Fashion Factory Director and Professor of Textile Materials and Technology at the University of Leeds, said:
“Innovation has been at the heart of Yorkshire’s fashion and textile industry since its earliest days. We’re delighted to be part of this tradition by delivering ambitious projects that will add value to the businesses working with Future Fashion Factory, accelerating growth, creating new jobs and paving the way for innovative application of new digital and advanced textile technologies.”
Future Fashion Factory’s second funding call opens to expressions of interest on 2 September.1
Dr Paul Meller, Associate Director at UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, said:
“It’s fantastic to see the range of businesses working with Future Fashion Factory in response to their first funding call. These pioneering partnerships between industry and universities will drive innovation in this vibrant and rapidly expanding sector and underpin economic growth in the region.”