Innovation and Heritage Blend at Year 1 Showcase

More than a dozen researchers and industry partners demonstrated innovations from across the Future Fashion Factory community at our first annual showcase on Wednesday 16 October.

Over 100 guests from across the industry attended the spectacular venue at Salts Mill, Saltaire, to celebrate the Programme’s success so far and explore the research and development (R&D) taking place throughout the FFF network of designers, mills, technology providers and researchers.

The showcase marked the launch of a unique project between Yorkshire Textiles and AW Hainsworth that was supported by Future Fashion Factory in our first innovation funding call.

Historic jacquard punch cards from Leeds Industrial Museum were digitised and used as the inspiration for a ‘new heritage’ cloth. A short film chronicling the journey of textile designer Rebecca Ough was premièred at the showcase, along with garments, accessories, and home interior products made using the bespoke cloth.

The garments were created by the School of Design at the University of Leeds, based on designs from a student project inspired by the Yorkshire Fashion Archive.

Guests stand around a line of mannequins in black and ecru garments at the Future Fashion Factory showcase
Garments inspired by the Yorkshire Fashion Archive were on display – including some remade in AW Hainsworth’s New Heritage cloth

Among the exhibitors was WT Johnson, which received Future Fashion Factory funding for a project to develop a digital tool to predict the effect of different finishes on any fabric.

Deluxe Beds also presented an example of their newly launched layered mattress – which is set to be developed into a modular mattress design through a project supported by Future Fashion Factory.

SizeStream demonstrated 3D body scanning technology in the form of their new mobile app, while HD Wool talked to guests about their recent InnovateUK funding to research methods of improving the wash durability of wool fibres.

Elsewhere in the showcase, exhibitions and demonstrations focused on new data-driven design tools for fashion designers, personalising fabric to suit individual needs, traceable and transparent supply chains, and equipping tomorrow’s professionals to succeed in a changing fashion industry.

Peter Ackroyd of Campaign for Wool speaks from the podium
Peter Ackroyd of Campaign for Wool addresses the audience

As part of the festivities for Wool Week, our guest speaker for the evening, Campaign for Wool President Peter Ackroyd MBE, praised Future Fashion Factory’s commitment to innovation, emphasising that innovation is a crucial part of the Yorkshire textile industry’s past, present and future.

“The pedigree of Yorkshire’s textile industry is embedded in the region,” says Suzy Shepherd, Co-Director of Future Fashion Factory.

“To combine this with design, digital technology, fashion and skills makes a very powerful statement about how the sector and Future Fashion Factory’s academic partners are continuing this tradition of innovation. The support of the region’s mills and other industry partners has been phenomenal in our first year.”

The Future Fashion Factory team would like to say a huge thank you to Zoe Silver and the team at Salts Mill for all their support, as well as to all the researchers and industry partners who contributed to the showcase: AW Hainsworth, British Alpaca Fashion, Deluxe Beds, HDWool, SizeStream, SofMat, Textile Centre of Excellence, WT Johnson, Yorkshire Textiles, Professor Chris Carr, Dr Muriel Rigout, Dr Qianqian Pan, Sahar Arshi, Dr Ningtao Mao, Dr Kevin Almond, Dr David Backhouse, Dr Jeffrey Thorpe, Faye Hindle, Abraham Moon & Sons, Camira Fabrics, and Wools of New Zealand.