School of the Arts, English and Drama

Staff research

Textile Design Research Group

The Textile Design Research Group is committed to understanding and progressing textile sustainable design research and practice through both traditional and practice-led approaches, particularly within collaborative and interdisciplinary working contexts.

Our expertise covers a diverse range of interests including traditional textile and craft practices; design process research; digital design, process development and production; smart textiles; sustainability and ethical practices; textiles and wellbeing; and drawing for textile design.

Our common focus develops from a fundamental understanding and core knowledge of design approaches, materials and specialist processes. Our work informs and impacts on many textile related fields in areas such as: sustainable design strategy, innovative production processes, issues relating to well-being and design pedagogy.

The group meets regularly to provide a cross-disciplinary forum from which to develop collaborative research projects and to support the development of individual research agenda. 

For more information about the Group, have a look at the Textile Design Research Group information booklet

The Textile Design Research Group welcomes new collaborations with industry and academia. To contact us, email

Technology and Craft

The School of the Arts houses a range of contemporary textile technologies. This, alongside cross-disciplinary collaboration with scientific expertise within other Loughborough University departments, enables innovative research, which embraces digital technology and traditional hand skills alongside design excellence. We currently have a strong focus on digital techniques including laser processing. Research areas include novel construction methods, three-dimensional textiles and smart textiles. Outcomes include new materials and processes, design collections and artefacts, which address sustainability and ethical practices.

Collaboration with Industry

We have a history in and are committed to working with industry both nationally and internationally. Members of the group exhibit regularly at international trade fairs providing innovative design solutions and high-level design consultancy for fashion and interiors. We undertake bespoke research projects for industry through investigating new technologies and materials, informed by the use of traditional hand skills. We are interested in pursuing this area further through funded Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and Collaborative Doctoral Awards and Partnerships.

Textiles for Wellbeing

The group is committed to practice-based research that explores and encourages utilising textile craft processes to improve wellbeing. Current projects explore the therapeutic process brought about by the repetitive nature of engaging in textile crafting as a hobby by men. Research in this area also employs the use of textile crafts in community-based projects to encourage the self-management of long-term and enduring mental health conditions. We are interested in continuing to contribute to research that investigates textile processes as alternative, non-pharmaceutical treatments of mental health illness.


The group is dedicated to research-led teaching and pedagogic development within textiles. Current projects relate to the role of drawing within textile design education and practice, the value of traditional and new technologies in textile education and the links between mathematics and art. Other research in this area embraces the construction of experiential knowledge through immersive practice and the integration of craft making in academic research, the result of which is aimed at teaching development.

Members: Kerri Akiwowo, Matthew Broughton, Paula Gamble-Schwarz, Terence Kavanagh, Bryony King, Janette Matthews, Francesco Mazzarella, Laura Morgan, Jenny Pinski, Kerry Walton, Sally Yates

Associate members: Yemi Awosile, Faith Kane     

Postgraduate members: Sarah Green, Zoe John, Emma Osborne 

Kerri Akiwowo | email Kerri 

Kerri’s interests focus on new processes and materials, existing and emerging digital technologies, smart fabrics, performance sportswear and technical textiles, experimental approaches in printed textiles, patterning and surface design. Current areas of investigation include: digital laser-dye coloration and patterning approaches for textiles and garments; hybrid garment identities explored through novel fibres and textile design interpretations; and thermo-chromic and liquid crystal temperature sensitive screen-printing technologies for textiles, wearable displays and sports apparel.

Janette Matthews | email Janette

Janette’s cross-disciplinary research involves a combination of craft and digital technologies. This currently includes research into pleating, digital dyeing and the application of laser processing to develop design-led textile processes and artefacts.  She is also interested in the interface between mathematics and art/textiles. Janette is an editor of the Journal of Textile Design Research and Practice

Laura Morgan | email Laura

Laura’s recent research interests have been concerned with addressing sustainability through process and material innovation for textiles. Her research takes a practice based approach in the application of new and emerging digital technologies, specifically investigating Laser Textile Design. With a commercial design background in the fashion and textiles industry, Laura’s research has involved interdisciplinary study and industry collaboration. Her current work cross-examines subjective and objective fabric measurement and laser-textile techniques with a view to improve material properties for sportswear. 

Jenny Pinski | email Jenny

Jenny’s research interests revolve around hands-on/craft-based approaches to design and the application of textile approaches in other disciplines. Her expertise in footwear and woven textiles inform her current research which investigates the application of hands-on woven textile approaches to commercial sandal design. She uses her experience as a practitioner to engage in practice-based research and she is interested in the role of design practice in academic research.

Kerry Walton | email Kerry

Trained as a weaver, Kerry is principally interested in textile design, construction and associated processes. Her current research is based around exploration of the relationships between drawing and textiles, both within her own practice and also concerning the relevance of these issues to a contemporary textiles education.