UKRI Showcase Highlights Future Fashion Factory Research

Industry and academic partners from the Future Fashion Factory community demonstrated their research and design expertise at a prestigious showcase event on 10 June.

More than 200 invited guests visited Parkinson Court at the University of Leeds for a special exhibition of cutting-edge research at the institution. Future Fashion Factory took pride of place alongside demonstrations of immersive technologies, transport simulations, big data analytics and much more.

One of the centrepieces of our display was a collaboration between two Future Fashion Factory industry partners: a stunning yellow Raeburn parka made in Hainsworth cloth, on loan for the occasion from AW Hainsworth.

Yellow Raeburn parka and six black designs on mannequins in Parkinson Court - Future Fashion Factory stand at the University of Leeds

The coat was flanked by six striking black designs, the result of a special project led by FFF co-investigator Dr Kevin Almond with second-year Fashion Design students from the University of Leeds. Students explored the collections of the Yorkshire Fashion Archive, housed on campus at Leeds, looking for garments made with obvious mistakes. They then reimagined these garments to transform mistakes into design features, resulting in some truly innovative creations.

Meanwhile, the exhibition highlighted new FFF textile research. Dr Ningtao Mao showed how haptics technology uses sound waves to recreate the feeling of touching a bubble – technology he is developing to digitise and recreate information on the look and feel of a fabric sample. At the same time, Dr Andrew Hewitt from the University of Huddersfield demonstrated how cotton can be treated with plasma to make it hydrophobic.

Hannah Dean with Burberry trench coat on mannequin and posters showing redesigned coats

Core industry partner Burberry was represented by Hannah Dean, BA Fashion Design student from the University of Leeds, who was on the winning team at Burberry’s ‘hackathon’ event on 11 April. With an iconic trench coat on loan from Burberry Mill and renderings of some of the teams’ unique designs, Hannah spoke to guests about her experience of the competition. Future Fashion Factory supported five Leeds students to participate in the design competition.

The showcase followed a panel discussion held by UK Research and Innovation to mark the first anniversary of its launch, bringing together all the UK research councils under a single organisation. Future Fashion Factory is supported by the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund through the Creative Industries Clusters Programme, which is managed by the arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).