Textiles: New Research Strategies

On March 19th 2011, the Textile Society held its first research symposium. The event aimed to facilitate the exchange of research within textiles and I went along as an audience member. I had hoped to speak about my carbon footprinting research but in the end they were overrun with speakers, so I have written a piece for their journal TEXT instead.

As textiles have become a growing academic area of research, the topics under its umbrella are far and wide. The morning session included papers on textile histories, something I have only little knowledge about but am learning. There was also discussion on the way in which textiles are exhibited in museums, and exciting news about the Clothworkers’ Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study, which will open in 2013 as part of the V&A.

The afternoon looked at more contemporary issues and critical thinking behind fashion and textiles. Although thought provoking, there were times when it felt a little ‘wishy washy’. Nonetheless, there were some great ideas for the future, including the use of concrete on clothing to absorb pollutants in the air. Hopefully the event will happen in future years, it is always great to belong to these societies but the value of community is heightened when you have a chance to meet like minded people and swap ideas.

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