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- Key Information
The School of Textiles and Design is located in Galashiels at the Scottish Borders Campus of Heriot-Watt University. In 1989 the Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels entered into an academic association with Heriot-Watt. This association became a full merger in 1998, when the College became the School of Textiles of Heriot-Watt University. The School was renamed the School of Textiles and Design in 2002, setting the scene for its dynamic role in the 21st century.
The Scottish College of Textiles derived its origin from the need to provide specialist education to meet the needs of industry and business. The strategy which evolved to deliver textile education during the 19th and 20th centuries in the Borders Region of Scotland can be traced among the archives of the successive institutions: Galashiels Combined Technical School (1889-1906), South of Scotland Central Technical College (1906-1922), Scottish Woollen Technical College (1922-1965), and the Scottish College of Textiles (1965-1988), renamed in this way to describe its wider function. From 1975, the college expanded its activity beyond Textile Design and Technology, to include Clothing Manufacture, Colour Science, Business Studies, Management, Accounting, Office and Administration Studies and Computing and Information Studies.
Research is vital to ensure that the academic team is at the forefront of textile and clothing industry developments, to support our commercial strategy and to ensure that our teaching is always up to date and prepares our graduates in an appropriate way for the world of work. It provides a practical reference point for theoretical work and helps develop the highly transferable problem solving skills that means our graduates are in such high demand.
The vigorous development of research within the School of Textiles and Design provides excellent opportunities for qualified graduates to undertake postgraduate study and research. Research in the School covers a wide range of disciplines, from textile science, engineering and technology, colour chemistry and physics, to clothing and design. These divisions are in practice not rigid. In fact, the School adopts a genuinely multidisciplinary approach to its research, taking advantage of its unique group of staff from a diversity of disciplines. As an example, research at the design/technology interface is seen as an important area of current development. Recently the School has assumed the chairmanship of the Association of University Textile departments in Europe (AUTEX), reflecting its international status in textile research.
Postgraduate training is provided in each area of expertise, with the provision of taught or research courses. The taught courses have a flexible modular pattern allowing full-time and part-time study and 'block release' for industrial personnel, as well as a degree of choice of subject. The courses are supported by excellent teaching facilities and we are proud to be one of the leading Universities working the field of textiles, and possess some of the best teaching and research facilities in the UK and Europe. Our dyeing, production, finishing and printing workshops are equipped with some of the most advanced machinery in various sectors, as well as conventional production machinery.
TechniTex Faraday Partnership
TechniTex is a four way partnership, backed by the DTI and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which brings together the three leading UK universities in textile technology, Heriot-Watt University, Leeds and UMIST, together with the British Textile Technology Group (BTTG), the largest independent textile research trade organisation in the UK.
The TechniTex Faraday Partnership for Technical Textiles is one of four Faraday Partnerships which aim to help companies work with the UK's leading researchers and produce innovative new products and processes to re-invigorate the UK textiles industry. TechniTex will receive funding of £2.2 million over the next four years as seedcorn for an intensive programme of research, training and comprehensive technology translation and transfer. This will be a two-way process, enabling the translation of industrial needs into research goals and the translation of academic knowledge into industrial practice, process and product.
TechniTex will focus on research, design and the development of new technologies and applications in the key and emerging manufacturing sector of technical textiles – materials and products manufactured primarily for their technical performance and functional properties.
The Partnership will place particular emphasis on small companies, to create an extensive network of UK manufacturers in the technical textile sector and to re-position the network partners to become research-led and internationally leading.
Industrially, the challenges are to regenerate the industry into a sector that fully exploits new technologies and business skills, and to create awareness of new market opportunities and technological innovations.
Academically, the challenges are to:
- create interdisciplinary research groupings
- translate academic advances in science and technology so that the industry can exploit them
- generate an education and training programme to create a new generation of textile technologists
The office of the Director of the Faraday Partnership is located at the Scottish Borders Campus, which interacts very closely with the Faraday office at the British Textile Technology Group.