Here we feature our current and completed projects.

Current projects

Smart Textiles

Project Background

Smart Textiles is specifically researching kinetic energy generated by clothes to power wearable electronics. One of the research projects in this field is called: ‘Next Generation Triboelectric Nano Generator based Energy Autonomous Textile Fabrics’

Project in the news:

The project will realise a next generation of ultra-high-performance human wearable textiles. The technology aims to help meet the ever-growing energy demands of wearables while avoiding the need for cumbersome batteries.

Project Leads/Supervisors

  • Professor George Stylios




  • University of Glasgow
  • Institute of Technology Sligo
  • Tyndall National Institute

Completed projects

Sound Exchange

Project Background

Sound Exchange was a project that emerged from the Distributed Capabilities research project. The project showcases artefacts created by a collective of eleven craft makers, from various art and design disciplines, who collaboratively experimented with sounds as an alternative source of design inspiration. Using a variety of digital/analogue methods each artefact represents an exchange of practices, ideas, and sensory experiences.

Project in the news:

Research Questions

  • How do craft practitioners from different disciplines translate sounds to objects?
  • What sounds do they choose to work with, and how is this influenced by their connection to and awareness of their personal environment?
  • What objects are they inspired to create in response to these sounds?
  • How is the story of the sound conveyed in the objects created?
  • How do digital processes that support working with sound sit alongside physical and tactile craft skills and processes?


The project began with a series of in-person and digital workshops that ran over two years during 2019 and 2020. Though-out this period, members of the collective developed, shared and refined approaches to design that took inspiration from the 'heard' rather than 'seen' environment, working with forms of visualised sounds (such as spectrograms) and through direct interpretation of sounds (such as making marks in direct response to listening).

They considered different approaches to collaborating across discipline and geography, and the training and infrastructure needed to support that. And they discussed their choices of sounds and their reasons for continuing to work with them, which included emotional connections to the sounds as well as visual and tactile design considerations.

Project Leads/ Supervisors

  • Dr George Jaramillo
  • Dr Lynne J Hocking-Mennie (Lynne's Loom)


  • Royal Society of Edinburgh Network Grant

Sustainability research

There are 4 strands to the sustainability research undertaken by the School:

Fiber fragmentation

Project Background

During use and laundry textiles can break down and release fragments of fibers into the environment, these are commonly known as ‘microplastics’ or ‘microfibers’. This field of research is in its infancy and whilst several research groups are working on developing new test methods to evaluate fiber fragmentation during laundry. Our team evaluating methods for testing the propensity of textiles to fragment during simulated wear.

Project Leads/ Supervisors

  • Dr Lisa Macintyre
  • Sophia Murden (PhD student)
Fiber to fiber recycling of polyester

Project Background

Recycled polyester is increasingly used in textile and fashion products but is currently made from PET bottles. Our team are evaluating the limitations and possible solutions of melt-spinning textile PET into new textile PET with the ultimate goal of facilitating a cost-effective circular economy in polyester clothing.

Project Leads/ Supervisors

  • Dr Lisa Macintyre
  • Zara Standring
  • Valeria Arrighi (MSc student)
Exploring the 'reduce' agenda

Project Background

Research to develop a better understanding of what motivates the purchase of new clothing (80-150 billion new garments are made per year!) and what consumers require in order to change current behaviours. Our team are looking to understand consumer motivations in fashion and the impact that education and information can have on motivation and behaviour.

Project Leads/ Supervisors

Project in partnership with Edinburgh Business School (EBS)

Re-considering bast fibers

Project Background

Probast fibres (such as linen, hemp and nettle) were largely replaced by synthetic (oil-based) fibres and filaments during the 20th century. As oil stocks diminish and we are increasingly concerned with the environmental impact of currently dominant fibre types we are beginning to explore the feasibility of re-starting a UK based bast fibre industry.


Robert Gordon University and the University of Hannover.