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Fashion: Textiles, Fibres and Fabrics

Information about Library and Internet resources for fashion students.

Books and eBooks

Search by title or author in the library catalogue

Search by key terms  - textile, textiles, textile design,   knitting, crochet, weaving, screen printing, surface design

Search for individual fibres and fabrics— polymers, cotton, wool, silk etc

Search for new textiles— textile* AND innovation,  textile* AND technology


Online Videos

Interactive, Smart and Modern Textiles (42 min.) 2012

Wearable electronics, textiles that generate power and smart and modern materials like Kevlar, Nomex and D30 are all covered in this resource that looks at their characteristics, functions and applications. Case studies include: materials used by stuntmen and ballerinas, a handbag that charges your phone, piezo-electric textiles and garments that sense and react to changes in your body and the environment.


Recycled and Sustainable Textiles (36 min.)

This resource shows how textile designers are meeting the challenge from government and consumers to meet the 6R's. Case studies include: Shoes made from old tyres, bags made from recycled airline seats and high fashion tailoring created from second hand shop finds.


Ethical Textiles (32 min)  2011

Filmed in Bangladesh, one of the world's largest textile manufacturers, this resource explores the social cost of our cheap textiles. With footage filmed inside a number of Bangladeshi textile factories, it explores the issues of sweatshop labour, poor working conditions, a fair wage and the right to unionise and asks who is responsible? It then compares the social impacts of this mass-scale textiles production with the benefits brought to a small rural community in Bangladesh by a fair trade textile initiative.


Textiles: Eco Design  (32 min.) 2011

As lead designers for Finisterre, Tom and Debbie are on a mission - to create the most eco-friendly surf-wear brand in the world. From their HQ in Cornwall to fabric suppliers in Japan and manufacturers in Portugal, we follow the pair as they explain how they reduce the environmental and ethical impact of their clothes by considering the use of materials and energy throughout their design, manufacture, 

transportation and use. We see how they source and develop eco-friendly technical materials - from recycled polyester to organic wool and cotton; we follow Tom on a series of environmental factory audits in Portugal and we find out how Finisterre work with customers to reduce the carbon footprint of products throughout their life-cycle.

Textiles  (19 min.) 2010

The aim of this program is to introduce a variety of textile materials used by designers when making their products. The program describes the characteristics and properties of fibres, fabrics and yarns and how designers use this information to help them make decisions regarding the most appropriate and suitable materials for an end product. Students should develop an understanding of the classification of fibres, fabrics and yarns and how designers take a number of factors into consideration when choosing suitable materials.

Design: All About Textiles  (15 min.) 2010

Today there are many different types of textiles that are available to us, each with their different properties, strengths and range of uses. Getting to know their properties is vital for any student of textiles today. In this program interior designer Brandi Hagen showcases textile samples and explains different types of natural and synthetic fibers, fabric construction and surface designs. In this program we examine the properties of natural fibres such as cotton, flax, jute, sisal and bamboo; synthetic fibres such as nylon, polyester, rayon, acrylic and microfibers, and animal fibres such as wool and silk. We also look at fabric construction and surface designs.

Yarn Construction and Specialist Yarns   (21 min.) 2009

The second program in the Talking Textiles series outlines yarn production and the properties of different woven and knitted fabrics. A range of different spinning and yarn production techniques are shown from drop spindle and spinning wheels to slub, boucle and chenille methods.

Natural Fibres  (25 min.)  2009

The first program in the Talking Textiles series introduces students to fibres and how we classify them as natural or man-made, before further categorising the former as animal, vegetable or mineral. A range of methods and preparation techniques are discussed for a number of fibres.


Introducing Textiles  (25 min.) 2003

This program introduces students to fibres, fabrics and textiles. A brief historical overview is followed by a look at various processes and also the most recent developments.


Textiles - Kimono

V&A – the world’s leading museum of art and design


Japan has a very rich textile history, with the kimono being a major focus of interest and artistic expression. Meaning 'the thing worn', the term kimono was first adopted in the mid-19th century. Originally worn by commoners, or as an undergarment by the aristocracy, from the 16th century kimono became the principal item of dress for all classes and both sexes. It is still an enduring symbol of traditional Japanese culture today.

Useful websites

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