Building on expertise

Leeds has an internationally recognised history in teaching and research into textiles and colour, going back almost 150 years ago. 

LITAC is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, University of Leeds institute. Hosted by the School of Design, we work across the entire campus to bring together expertise and resources in academic research groups related to colour, fashion and textiles. Core strengths are in polymer science, textile technology, textile and fashion design, colour chemistry and technology.

LITAC brings together world-leading research capabilities in design, science and engineering. Our centres include the Future Fashion Factory (FFF), the 3D Weaving Innovation Centre (3DWIC), the Design Centre for Colour and the Clothworkers’ Centre for Textile Materials Innovation for Healthcare (CCTMIH)

Leeds researchers co-direct other research initiatives such as the Textiles Circularity Centre and the University was the first to sign up as an affiliate to Textiles 2030 voluntary agreement aiming to tackle environmental impacts in the industry.

Research and expertise

LITAC harnesses multidisciplinary expertise across the science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) landscape to address major research challenges. Our research is aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and draws on our Institute’s diverse research capabilities in polymer and textile science, textile manufacturing, colour science, fashion design and technology. LITAC is developing new sustainable and high-performance polymer and textile materials, innovative manufacturing processes, measuring techniques and other technologies that aim to directly benefit industry and society.


LITAC collaborates extensively with industry, NGOs and other organisations, nationally and internationally in research and innovation. We are truly interdisciplinary in our approach, drawing on, and integrating expertise across a large academic community to deliver high quality results. 

Our spinouts 

LITAC’s academic research in textile science and technology has been transformed into commercial success by the creation of three innovative spin-out companies, all of which have attracted significant external investment: 

  • Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute (NIRI) Ltd A global nonwoven product development and technical consultancy service, specialising in nonwoven materials, manufacturing, technology and related products
  • XEROS PLC Develops and licenses platform technologies which transform the sustainability, performance and economics of water intensive processes, including the washing of clothing  
  • Keracol Ltd Develops active molecules from plant sources applied in cosmetic products for hair coloration, hair care and skin care, as food colorants and food ingredients and in nutraceutical applications.