KE Theme: Dress & Textiles

Our expert team of historians, curators, conservators and conservation scientists from different disciplines makes the College of Arts a premier resource for the history, interpretation and preservation of dress and textiles.

We have extensive knowledge and expertise both in the academic theory and the professional practice of collections, collecting and conservation. We cover wide-ranging themes and periods across fashion and dress histories, historical decorative and furnishing textiles and modern textile art.

Interconnecting with these themes is the scientific investigation and understanding of historical natural and synthetic textile materials and colorants. This puts the College of Arts in a unique position to study historical dress and textiles from a new perspective.

This truly interdisciplinary approach enriches our existing collaborative partnerships with the University’s Scottish Business Archive and Hunterian Museum, and with Glasgow Life’s rich and diverse museum collections of textiles. It also helps to shape new partnerships that provide opportunities for innovative research and professional training through shared purpose and knowledge exchange between students, academics and industry professionals.

Our two new postgraduate Masters programmes, in textile conservation and in dress and textile histories, are proving very popular.  Our object-focussed approach to academic and practical training attracts graduates nationally and internationally to postgraduate study here.

Industry-focussed partnerships with local, national and international museums and cultural institutions further enhance students’ essential skills and knowledge through student work placements and dissertation projects. This allows them to pursue successful careers in conservations and curatorship.

All of our doctoral and postdoctoral research takes place in collaboration with cultural heritage partners, allowing us privileged access to many of the world’s best museum collections, archives and expertise. Current topics cover international and national textile histories of dyes and dyeing, haute couture design, cultural exchange in the textile trade, painted textiles, lace, knitting, tapestries and interior furnishings.

Our expansive professional networks and international conferences for historical dress and textiles also offer opportunities to inspire today’s creative industries and educational resources, foster new interdisciplinary collaboration, and share our knowledge and expertise professionally and publically. Current and recent examples include the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History Research Network, ‘Tapestries in the Round’ and the Institute for Conservation triennial conference, 2013.

Because we attract international high-calibre researchers to our excellent facilities at the University, all of our collaborative partners benefit from interdisciplinary knowledge exchange for cutting-edge professional advances and innovative research to answer real questions with impactful outcomes.


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