TED Textile Toolbox workshop at Norwich University of the Arts

Helen Paine recently completed her PhD at Royal College of Art and is associated to TED via her PhD supervisor, Dr Kate Goldsworthy. This month Helen used TED’s TEN and the Textile Toolbox web platform to structure a future materials workshop for a group of 2nd and 3rd year Textiles students at Norwich University of the Arts. The session began with a short lecture that introduced TED’s research, their TEN sustainable research strategies and Textile-Toolbox pop-up exhibits. After this initial introduction, students were asked to reflect on their own practice and consider how they might develop a favourite sample from a previous project with reference to TED’s TEN. They worked together as a group to discuss ideas, which informed the development of their own sustainable manifestos. Each student presented their manifesto back to the group at the end of the morning session. There were some great ideas on ways of making their practice more sustainable, such as using dry processing methods to reduce water waste; substituting materials to maintain mono-materiality for closed-loop recycling; and building the consumer into their design process to reduce the need to consume.

BA Textiles students at Norwich University of the Arts developing sustainable manifestos for their work using TEDs TEN

Students took a more practical approach in the afternoon session to learn about the work of TED and performed Becky Earley’s Fast Refashion technique on a used polyester shirt. Helen wore a shirt that she had already transformed using the technique to inspire students and give them some ideas for their own designs. Stencils were cut from heat-transfer papers and applied directly to the surface of the shirt using a heat press. Through this exercise students were introduced to a quick and simple way of refashioning mono-material polyester clothing and were able to give their clothing a new lease of life for prolonged wear. Some of the students loved their transformed shirts so much that they wore them home from the session. Thanks TED for a great Toolbox of inspirational ideas!


BA Textiles students at Norwich University of the Arts performing Becky Earley’s Fast-Refashion technique on used polyester clothing