In January 2007 staff and students in the Fashion Area at the University of Leeds embarked upon a challenging programme of research to discover if garments from the university archive could be successfully remodelled using 'high tech' nonwovens. This important fashion archive consists of garments from the 20th Century donated to the Fashion Area in the School of Design by the general public.
The object of the exercise was not to simply replicate the archive garments using nonwovens but to push the boundaries further and present garments which could only be made using nonwovens. This research aimed to bring together the disciplines of textile engineering and design to allow the production of innovative, visually appealing, comfortable, functional and commercially feasible apparel.
Through experimentation and research the students discovered that precisely because of the unique properties of nonwovens other non traditional seaming could be used. Varieties of these options have been researched and experiments using overlapping, 'raw' edges and ultrasonic bonding have been carried out, thus facilitating unique and creative answers to what was originally seen as a range of technical problems. From the success of this project it is apparent that fashionable garments can be developed using nonwoven fabric.
This 'journey' of discovery was documented throughout in the student's research journals and exhibited at the EDANA conference at the University of Leeds in March 2007.