The diversity and complexity of fashion is represented through a wealth of research expertise and practical resources across a range of departments at Goldsmiths. This facilitates understandings of the context that shapes fashion and in turn it’s far-reaching social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts, questioning the hierarchy and spectacle of the prevailing fashion system and imagining alternatives. The Fashion Research Unit provides a platform to unite these diverse research areas as a distinctly ‘Goldsmiths’ approach to fashion theory and practice.
Goldsmiths Textile Collection
The Goldsmiths Textile Collection and the Constance Howard Gallery are located on campus at Deptford Town Hall. The Object Collection has over 4,000 objects. In addition to teaching samples, there are also items of domestic embroidery, print, and weave, and textiles using other forms of construction and embellishment. There is also a reference library that, in addition to books, holds journals and an extensive collection of pamphlets and exhibition catalogues. The collection illustrates the history of textiles at Goldsmiths from the 1940s to the present day and includes works by Goldsmiths alumni and other textile artists, as well as ethnographic and historical textiles and dress. The Constance Howard Gallery holds exhibitions of textiles, these include pieces from the Collection or from associated research projects, work by textile artists, students or alumni. We work closely with the collection and the gallery on various projects throughout the year.
Textile Research Laboratories
The Constructed Textile Laboratory facilitates Cloth Weaving, Knitting, Gun Tufting, and Tapestry. It has a variety of table looms to introduce students to the process of cloth weaving as well as floor looms. Computer aided technology includes; 3x AVL Studio Compu Dobby looms using ‘Weave Maker’ software, and a TC-1 Jacquard Loom using ‘ScotWeave’. Knitting equipment available ranges from Single Bed Silver Reed Domestic knit machines, chunky to fine gauges, Singer Double Bed Electronic machines, together with 2x Passap E8012 Double Bed Automatic Computerised Knit machines attached to ‘Designer Knit 7’ Software, and used in conjunction with Adobe Photoshop.
The Stitch and Fabric Laboratory is equipped with a range of traditional, computer aided and portable sewing technology. In addition to the Bernina and Singer-Irish industrial sewing machines, there are facilities for working with heavier fabrics like those used in upholstery as well as specialised techniques such as blind stitching, fabric over locking, smocking and tufting. The room also contains several computerised sewing machines, one of which can be programmed using Ethos software and a scanner, to enable students to create complex stitched images.
The Print and Dye Laboratory comprises two large 7.5m print tables. The area carries a large range of dyes and auxiliary products so it is possible to print on all types of fabrics using dye pastes or specialist textile print binders. The area also boasts a Mimaki Tx1 Fabric Printer combining both traditional inkjet printing technology and textile dyes.
Goldsmiths has long been influential in the field of fashion and textiles with a number of alumni leaders in the field. Read their stories here: http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fashion/goldsmithsandthefashionindustry/