Press Esc to close
Monday 02 February 2015
News updated at 1:26 AM IST
Weather
Max: 28°C
Min : 17°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Scot, Indian textile schools weave ties

Dr Britta Kalkreuter, May 2, 2013, DHNS:

Scotland and India have many long and lasting links. Each shares a rich culture, heritage, and passion for innovation. To build on these strong ties, two textile designers from India were recently hosted by Heriot-Watt University’s School of Textiles and Design in Scotland, as part of a successful residency exchange programme, called reSIde. The reSIde project is a fantastic example of how we are sharing our creative talent on a world stage.

Swati Unakar and Murji Vankar, from Bangalore in the south of India and Bhujodi in Kutch, worked at our Scottish Borders campus in Galashiels to help promote Scotland and India as two of the world’s most creative nations.

Their visit was funded by Creative Scotland and Scottish Borders Council as part of the reSIde exchange programme, launched by The Scottish Goverment’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, at the Scottish Borders Campus in September 2012. 

The reSIde programme also saw two Scottish designers, Lindsay Roberts and Jeni Allison, spend two months in India.

As well as the exchange programme of visits, the reSIde programme also has a strong research core, allowing designers in both countries to investigate the links between traditional craft skills and 21st Century design thinking.

There is no doubt that cultural collaborations are helping us forge new alliances between our two countries and to learn from each other.

We are able to share our working practices and culture through staff and student exchange with our partner institutions in India, amongst them NID, IICD in Jaipur and Pearl, with further links with NIFT and Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore planned for the near future. We have welcomed many of our exchange students back into postgraduate education at Heriot-Watt, with some world class research developing, e.g. in the field of knowledge management between crafts and design.

India is one of the world’s fastest expanding economies and is an important investor in Scotland; some 5,000 Scottish jobs depend on links with India. Our nation’s strengths in technological innovation and cutting edge research and development mean that Scottish fashion and textile companies are ideally placed to engage with the growing markets in India and Asia.

Scotland has a long and distinguished history of producing quality textiles, maintained through a continued focus in design. The industry consists mainly of quality manufacturers of luxury niche products, including knitwear and accessories, woven apparel, interiors fabrics, accessories, and technical textiles.

It creates ranges for the world's elite luxury brands and couture houses some of which can be found only a few miles from the School of Textiles and Design, which is the second oldest textile institution in the world, dating back to 1883. Our portfolio continues to evolve and reflect current and future developments in textiles, fashion and design. Today the School has a reputation as one of the world’s leading education and research institutions with specialist resources which are among the best in the world.

In Scotland, contemporary crafts are very much alive and there is a burgeoning interest in traditional skills and origins of crafts, while in India an amazing range of traditional craft skills are keen to position themselves well for a 21st century market. That’s where India’s and Scotland’s interests in the project meet.

While the heavy embroideries and vibrant colours of India are outwardly quite different from the more sombre cloth which Scotland is famed for, we’ve discovered a shared enthusiasm for craft skills and narratives. The community spirit which is still central to the production of textiles in India is something we aim to replicate amongst our highly talented students in Galashiels.

On a day-to-day basis our students were benefiting tremendously from engaging with our ReSide residents' on different national working practices and cultures. The visits brought opportunities to share skills and discuss crafts with the School of Textiles and Design (SoTD) staff and students as well as the wider community. The Scottish designers Jeni Allison and Lindsay Roberts were glad to engage with projects at the craft NGOs Khamir and Kala Raksha while in India.

The School has extensive links to the textiles and fashion industry which allow students to take part in live projects and benefit from visiting professionals such as Jasper Conran.
This experience has led to former students creating their own successful fashion labels including William Chambers, Judy R Clark, Obscure Couture and Samantha McEwen of Isolated Heroes.

School of Textiles and Design is part of Heriot-Watt University, which specialises in design, science, technology, engineering and business, with a particular focus on developing solutions to critical global issues, such as climate change and energy.

Heriot-Watt has a long tradition of welcoming students from all over the world and has the largest international student cohort of any of other Scottish University. It also has campuses in the Scottish capital Edinburgh, and in Orkney and overseas campuses in Dubai and Malysia, where a £35 million new campus is under construction. Thousands of students from more than 150 countries choose to study at all through Heriot-Watt.
For further information about Heriot-Watt University and its courses please email edu.liaison@hw.ac.uk

(The writer is Programme Director Masters School of Textiles and Design of  Heriot Watt  University.)


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
A machine cleaning pollution from River Ganga during the Magh Mela Festival in Allahabad...

A machine cleaning pollution from River Ganga during the Magh Mela Festival in Allahabad...

Farah Khan announces the Gautam Gulati as the winner of Bigg Boss Season 8...

Farah Khan announces the Gautam Gulati as the winner of Bigg Boss Season 8...

Devotees feed Siberian migratory birds after taking a holy dip in the River Ganges...

Devotees feed Siberian migratory birds after taking a holy dip in the River Ganges...

Hingis of Switzerland and Paes of India kiss their trophy at the Australian Open 2015...

Hingis of Switzerland and Paes of India kiss their trophy at the Australian Open 2015...

Hingis of Switzerland and Paes of India celebrate the winning movement of Australian Open 2015...

Hingis of Switzerland and Paes of India celebrate the winning movement of Australian Open 2015...

A senior traffic police officer stops a truck at Qazigund as Srinagar- Jammu National Highway...

A senior traffic police officer stops a truck at Qazigund as Srinagar- Jammu National Highway...

Jacqueline Fernandez during a promotional event in Jaipur on Sunday...

Jacqueline Fernandez during a promotional event in Jaipur on Sunday...

John Abraham takes selfie with Delhi Waveriders players during their HIL match...

John Abraham takes selfie with Delhi Waveriders players during their HIL match...

Madhuri Dixit Nene with husband Sriram Nene during the 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards...

Madhuri Dixit Nene with husband Sriram Nene during the 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards...

Sonam Kapoor during the 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards in Mumbai...

Sonam Kapoor during the 60th Britannia Filmfare Awards in Mumbai...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523