Call for Papers: TRIP (Textiles Research in Process) Symposium

TRIP : An international symposium exploring the role and relevance of traditional hand skills in contemporary textiles, and the value and status of craft process.

Date :  16th November 2011
Organisers :  Val Beattie & Kerry Walton in collaboration with the
Textile Research Group and Duck online journal for research in textiles and textile design
Venue :  School of the Arts, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

TRIP: Textiles Research In Process

Technology such as digital embroidery, print and jacquard, laser and rapid prototyping  are valuable assets in textile manufacturing but can be limiting and may restrict or exclude creative spontaneity and innovation in the design process, development, and production. This may lead to a more superficial approach to the origination of the designs and artefacts, inhibiting conceptual content and promoting mechanical and uniform characteristics where irregularity and subtle variety are less evident in the final textile outcomes. In contrast to this, in relation to traditional processes, human inconsistencies and even error could be promoted as positive qualities, leading to innovation through experimentation and may also embed a desirable degree of character into the textiles. The unexpected can contribute a visual and conceptual depth that is exciting and potentially unique. Within this context the hand-made has  acquired a new value and respect in recent years.

Through a series of illustrated presentations and panel discussions by leading artists, designers, researchers and technologists, the symposium will seek to explore and define the role of hand skills and the value of process in contemporary textiles.

Submissions are invited in response to the following topics & questions:

  • Is knowledge and practical experience of traditional process and specifically hand skills necessary in the context of technological development and is this relevant to contemporary practice?
  • How do hand skills interact with new technology?
  • How are inconsistency, spontaneity and error exploited as creative tools in digital process?
  • Is it desirable to preserve knowledge of traditional hand skills, how is this best approached?
  • Why might these skills be relevant to contemporary/cutting edge design
  • There is an apparently growing demand for hand-made textile products, including bespoke, one-off and ‘high end’ items, what is the current status of the hand-made?
  • What is the current demand, and how might we define the market for specialist techniques?
  • What might be the role of hand skills in education?
  • Are these traditional skills being passed on to younger generations, and how are they being developed and interpreted?
  • What are the routes to the passing on of this knowledge, either through formal education or via home, family, and community?
  • What is the interface with sustainability and ethical issues?
  • Where do traditional processes and hand methods in specific disciplines (e.g. print, knit, weave and embroidery) contribute to contemporary textile design practice?

We would welcome contributions from practitioners and researchers both within Textiles and beyond the discipline to respond to these questions, and seek to encourage an industry perspective.

For more information and submission details please see the attached document.


Loughborough University, School of the Arts, Epinal Way, Leicestershire, LE11 1PW, UK.

Emma Nadin, Research Co-ordinator              Kerry Walton, Programme Leader for Textiles

e: e:

t: +44(0)1509 22 8901                                       t: +44(0)1509 22 8935


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