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Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC) launches to tackle global challenges


A new research institute has launched at the University of Leeds to address global challenges in colour, fashion and textiles through research and innovation, as well as teaching.

The Leeds Institute of Textiles and Colour (LITAC) is particularly focused on the development of innovative science and technology, materials, methods and processes, as well as technology-driven sustainable development.

LITAC University of Leeds

The new institute brings together existing areas of excellence, including the Future Fashion Factory (FFF). Alongside the contributions of the University, LITAC has received significant investment from The Clothworkers’ Company.

Stephen Russell, Professor of Textile Materials and Technology in Leeds’ School of Design and the founding Director of LITAC, said: “Textiles and colour are fundamental to the function and appearance of countless products used by society, and the industry as a whole is looking to innovate at every stage of the supply chain, to increase competitiveness, address environmental impacts, and drive sustainable growth.

“Whether it is significantly reducing waste, or a lack of transparency in the global fashion industry, creating new materials to rapidly diagnose infection in healthcare, or deploying artificial intelligence to decide the colour of products and increase their value, we can help with these sorts of diverse challenges. Our expertise across the University – in design, science and engineering – make us ideally placed to build on existing relationships.”

LITAC University of Leeds

Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT and a Board Member at the University of Leeds’ School of Design Industrial Advisory Board, said: “The current renaissance in UK manufacturing means that factors such as sustainability are more important than ever. LITAC has the expertise to inform the future of UK textile manufacturing and acts as a hub for collaboration, bringing together critical partners from all over the world to make a difference.”

Leeds and the wider Yorkshire area have a rich heritage in textiles, while universities in the Yorkshire and Humber region collectively enrol some 2,000 students in fashion, design, textiles and colour disciplines each year.

LITAC aims to harness the collective strength of this critical mass, and address gaps in skills and professional development.

Find out more

UKFT works across a wide range of projects to help the UK fashion and textile industry take full advantage of new technologies and markets. Find out more here.