New course weaves textile innovation with sustainability


A new University of Leeds course will address a skills gap in the UK’s textile industry and ensure the future production of textiles is less harmful to our environment.

The Textile Innovation and Sustainability BSc course will prepare students to address the environmental and societal challenges facing the industry worldwide.

Starting in September 2024, the course will teach students how technology can drive the development of innovative and sustainable textile materials, processes and products.

It has been designed with the needs of the industry in mind with businesses providing placement and employment opportunities.

Compulsory modules will help students to acquire a fundamental knowledge of the topic, while optional modules will help them to specialise in areas suited to their career aspirations.

Dr Muhammad Tausif, Deputy Head of School and Associate Professor in Sustainable Textile Manufacturing, said: “The new BSc Textile Innovation and Sustainability programme builds on a 150-year history of textile education at the University of Leeds.

“In addition to a cutting-edge syllabus supported by our extensive laboratories, we will be working together with the industry to offer a compelling package of industrial placements, and offer student scholarships via academic achievement and means-tested routes.”

David Collinge from the Worshipful Company of Weavers’ Textile Committee (pictured below) was instrumental in the development of the new course.

David Collinge stands in his old family textiles business in Burnley

David said: “The course has been designed to meet the skills gap in the UK textile industry as we need trained textile technologists who can innovate sustainable solutions to global environmental and societal challenges.

“It has been many years since there has been a degree level course in this area and many of the technologists in the industry are aged 55 and over. There are currently very few younger, trained people in the UK to replace them as they retire.”

The design and launch of the course is supported by the UK textile industry, co-ordinated by the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) and the Textile Livery group. 

“We believe it will provide a comprehensive set of skills and experience for anyone wanting to enter the vibrant UK textile industry.”

Adam Mansell, Chief Executive of the UKFT

Adam Mansell, Chief Executive of the UKFT, said: “Following calls from industry and an in-depth survey of our network last year, we are delighted to see this course become a reality.

“Major retailers, designer brands and leading textile manufacturers have told us that this type of training is urgently needed here in the UK to help the sector innovate to tackle tomorrow’s challenges and meet future trends.

“We believe it will provide a comprehensive set of skills and experience for anyone wanting to enter the vibrant UK textile industry.”

The three-year course will cover such areas as sustainable fashion, sustainable textile manufacturing and industry, knitted textiles and processes, non-woven products and processes, textile coloration and finishing and technical textiles.

Students will undertake a major research project in their final year, writing their dissertation by developing skills and techniques in the University of Leeds’ high quality research facilities. 

Take a virtual tour of our facilities

More information

For more information contact Jane Lewis by emailing or the