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Focus on nonwovens at University of Huddersfield

Nonwovens to play a more central role in the textile curriculum at the University of Huddersfield.

2nd May 2018

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Huddersfield


Huddersfield and its University have a long tradition of excellence in woven textiles. But nonwoven fabrics – which have reached a high state of technical development – are also important to the region’s economy and are increasingly studied and researched at the University.

For more than 12 years, Dr Hewitt worked at the Leeds-based Nonwovens Innovation and Research Institute (NIRI). He took part in collaborations with a series of blue chip companies. “A lot of people have never heard of nonwovens, but they can be found in virtually every facet of life,” said Dr Hewitt.

“They have been around since early felting, but nonwovens are probably the biggest growth area in UK textiles and they are used in such a wide range of applications, such as filtration, wipes, insulation, wound dressings, nappies and even bullet-proof vests.”

“They can be produced from any fibrous material, including polyesters, cottons, viscoses, carbon fibre, glass fibre or any combination.”

Dr Hewitt’s technical textiles background means that he will develop courses in this subject area at the University of Huddersfield’s Department of Fashion and Textiles.

A high proportion of current students are motivated by the aesthetic rather than technical aspects of textile studies, but Dr Hewitt aims to help dismantle disciplinary boundaries. “The different skills can be combined,” he said. “Technical people have a lot to learn about design and designers can learn things from the technical guys. By combining our strengths, we all become stronger.

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