As part of the Kirklees textiles festival, TEXTILE FUTURES brought together tours, talks and workshops with textile education, training and industry partners to showcase the career pathways and industry innovation taking place in the textile sector across West Yorkshire.
Hosted by the University of Huddersfield and held within the Barbara Hepworth building, attendees were able to tour the fashion and textile facilities, watch live science demos in the technical textile labs, explore the 2023 graduate showcase, take part in a print workshop, meet with industry experts and hear from career specialists about pathways into the sector.
The event inspired participants to explore career opportunities and learn about the ways in which textiles can be used to solve problems to create a better future. From medicine to manufacturing and construction to couture, textiles are incredibly important to many different sectors but all face similar challenges as businesses adapt to meet sustainable targets and integrate digital technologies.
Dr Rowan Bailey, Director of Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange at the School of Arts and Humanities, University of Huddersfield said:
“TEXTILE FUTURES is an important showcase of the many careers that the textile industry can offer young people. We are proud to be co-hosting this event with Woven in Kirklees in the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Huddersfield.
To secure a talent pipeline and strengthen the future of the textiles industry in West Yorkshire, collaboration is key. By bringing together different textile stakeholders, TEXTILE FUTURES aims to support new relationships between education, training and industry, celebrate local innovation and share pathways into the sector.
Teacher at North Huddersfield Trust School said:
“My students at the start of the day said they liked art but not textiles. By the end of the day they realised that textiles is so much more than the textiles they have experienced at school. There are chances through this programme to engage boys! I would like to see that happen”
Fuelled by the positive response to TEXTILE FUTURES 2023, we are looking to bring back TEXTILE FUTURES in 2024 to engage with more young people, teachers and industry partners.