Chetna Prajapati is a Lecturer in Textiles based in the School of Design and Creative Arts and a Fellow of AdvanceHE (FHEA), where she has a broad remit spanning research, enterprise, and lecturing, in addition to supervising postgraduate research.
Prior to joining Loughborough University in 2018, Chetna held lecturer positions at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, where she taught on the BA (Hons) Textile Design, MA Textile Design and Short Course Programmes. Her industry experience is varied and ranges from creative to technical roles across the fashion and textiles sector. Chetna initially trained as a designer and holds a BA (Hons) in Textile Design from Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London, and a MA in Printed Textiles from the Royal College of Art.
In 2017, Chetna was awarded a PhD in Biotechnology for Textile Design from the School of Design, De Montfort University. First of its kind, her thesis explored the application of enzymes as innovative biotechnology-based textile design tools to support sustainable production within the area of textile design and manufacture. Her PhD formed part of a larger collaborative research project titled LEBIOTEX (AH/J002666/1) between De Montfort University, Loughborough University and industrial partners, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK.
Chetna continues to take a transdisciplinary approach to her research which explore the intersections of broad ranging disciplines: art, design, science and technology with industry and key stakeholders to either bring transformation or innovation to the area of exploration. Chetnas ongoing research explores the application of biotechnology to bring improvements to the area of textile design and production, together with potential economic, environmental, and social benefits. Her research has been published by leading journals, such as the Journal of Cleaner Production and Coloration Technology, in addition to being presented at national and international conferences and exhibitions. She continues to contribute to leading industry journals and global mainstream media outlets such as BBC Focus and is available for interviews and consultation.
Chetna advocates challenging our current understanding to tackle social, environmental and sustainability issues through the strategic use of design to bring about transformation. Her research is dynamic and wide-ranging spanning across the breadth of the textile discipline which explore design for circularity and sustainability, complex histories embedded in textiles, or the use of textile-based interventions in healthcare.
February 2023 – January 2025:
‘Approaches of enzyme-based biotechnology to achieve textiles recovery and reuse for circularity’ aims to develop enzyme-based biotechnologies to recover valuable resources from wool blended fabrics, specifically wool/synthetic and wool/bast fibres blends, for recycling and reuse to support textile sectors transition towards circularity. The project will focus on utilising biotechnology to extract and re-manufacture post-consumer and post-industrial textile waste by controlled enzymatic processing. This collaborative project between Loughborough University [Co-I] and De Montfort University [PI] is supported by industrial partners Camira Fabrics, Fox Brothers & Co Ltd, and The Woolmark, and funded by UKRI: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (Project Ref: BB/X011623/1); Award £372,000.
October 2021 – September 2022:
‘Development of enzyme-based coloration and coating for sustainable machine washable wool to support the wool industry transition to a circular system’. A collaborative ‘proof of concept’ research project between Loughborough University [Co-I] and De Montfort University [PI] and Industry Partners: British Wool, Fox Brothers & Co Ltd, and The Woolmark Company which aims to develop an innovative enzyme-based biotechnology for the coloration and anti-shrinkage of wool fibres that offers improved environmental sustainability. Funder: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council: Networks in Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (BBSRC NIBB) Phase 2: BBNet; Ref: POC03-Jul21-Shen-09; Award: £50,000.
Chetna became a Fellow of AdvanceHE (FHEA) in 2022 on completion of the Academic Professional Apprenticeship (Level 7) which aligns to the Higher Education Academy UK Professional Standards Framework (UK-PSF) and the Vitae Researcher Development Framework. Chetna teaches across Levels 4 – 6 Modules on the BA (Hons) Textile Design programme and is currently Admissions Tutor for the programme.
Current external appointments include External Examiner for the BA (Hons) Textiles in Practice programme at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University and delivering lectures nationally for under/postgraduate programmes nationally.
‘Diverse Voices in Textiles’ is a pioneering teaching initiative that aims to build a considered, inclusive, and diverse agenda to advance the conversation in textiles and amplify the voices of those it serves. The creation of an accessible digital resource to enrich and enhance our students' knowledge and understanding of the subject brings critical stories to the forefront. Launched through a series of engaging guest talks and an exhibition, designed to inspire, and generate long-term opportunities beneficial to students, staff and the wider Loughborough community.
Chetna welcomes enquiries from individuals seeking in to undertake a self-funded/funded research degree which relate to her research interests.
Current PhD Supervision
- Gussi Philippou: ‘Textiles Processes as an Intervention for Dementia’. [Principal Supervisor]
- Sam Aspden: ‘Connecting to Landscape: Facilitating responses to Heritage Narratives through Locative Textiles’. [2nd Supervisor]