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Key facts

  • 150 years

    of textile design

    Our history dates back to 1870

  • 9th

    in the UK for art, performing arts and design

  • Industry partnerships

    We work with international corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, charities and trade bodies


About the Department of Fashion and Textiles

We are a thriving department that includes world-leading academic and industry experts, underpinned by technical support staff. We inspire our staff and students to develop through the classroom, industry collaboration, research development, and knowledge exchange and enterprise activities.

As both fashion and textiles evolve, we are leading the way through our expertise in:

  • e-textiles
  • fashion and textiles history
  • culture and consumption
  • sustainable practices
  • marketing
  • luxury consumption
  • brand and management

We have a strong undergraduate and postgraduate portfolio. We combine practice-lead courses with creative management and leadership courses. We work across all levels, giving staff and students the opportunities for collaboration with industry and project-lead work. Our academics have worked for international brands and retailers in areas including fashion design, buying, merchandising, marketing and manufacturing. We are a member of the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT).

Our courses address the global fashion and textile industries. We focus on understanding the economic, social, and cultural context of the fashion and textile world.

We have an extensive range of resources, from machinery, space, to technical expertise.

A catwalk model sports a dramatic red and white floral jacket with outsized lapels
A student design is brought to life on the catwalk. Image: Lacey Ayles.

Research culture

We aim to transform and influence the textile and related sectors for the better. Our researchers work with a global network of academic, education and industry partners to make a difference.

Research themes

We organise our research around 3 themes with sustainability integral to each:

  • fashion and luxury
  • e-textiles
  • textile design and manufacturing

Our research examines the interface between fashion, textiles, identity and popular culture including:

  • sustainable practices
  • digital and manufacturing of e-textiles for wearable healthcare
  • fashion and textiles history and theory
  • luxury marketing and consumption
  • cultural studies

We have also received substantial funding for a number of key projects in the area of wearable healthcare e-textiles.

Funding success

The Wearable Textile with Integrated Electrotherapy and Sensing for Joint Pain Management project has received funding from the MRC Development Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS). This project is designing wearable electrotherapy garments with embedded movement sensors for pain relief and monitoring knee function for people with knee osteoarthritis.

The Design and Manufacturing of E-textiles for Wearable Healthcare project has won funding from AHRC Research Commercialisation to explore the commercial opportunity of e-textiles for people before and after they’ve had knee surgery.

Innovate UK is providing funding the Reliable and Accessible Electronic Textile for Stroke Rehabilitation project. Together with external partners, we are developing a textile glove using Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) to enable stroke survivors to engage in independent rehabilitation at home. Learn about how this glove offers life changing movement to stroke patients in this BBC news video.

We also have two related projects which aim to expand the development and production of knitted e-textile garments for healthcare and well-being applications:


Our research also features in exhibitions including Dandy Style at Manchester Art Gallery.

Labs and studios

We host a wide range of facilities including industry-standard fashion studios, bespoke dye labs, laser cutting, and digital and sublimation printing.

E-textile Innovation Lab

We are also home to a specialist laboratory for electronic textiles, the E-textile Innovation Lab. It allows us to work at the intersection of textiles and electronics, blending design with engineering. The aim is to support our work creating innovative e-textiles that enhance people’s lives and contribute to sustainability.

Equipment includes:

  • computerised machine knitting
  • ink formulation and printing
  • pattern cutting and garment construction
A woman researcher using a machine at the e-textile laboratory
Design and engineering come together in the E-textile Innovation Lab.

Our courses

Research and public engagement

Learn more about our research and how we engage with the Winchester community through our dedicated art gallery.

Our research community

Research groups bring together specialists to share knowledge and solve problems.

Fashion & Textiles programs offer students the opportunity to work alongside leading educators and researchers in a creative, dynamic and inclusive environment.
Interim Head of Department
I work closely with the Deputy Head of School and the Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise teams to develop a strategy to improve employer engagement, employability skills and career opportunities for students at WSA.
School Industry and Employer Engagement Lead
I lead the departmental research and impact activities. I support colleagues in partnership development, research proposals, and oversee the overall research outputs.
Head of Research (Fashion and Textiles)
I work with the University international team, promoting the brilliant work we do at the school to international and research partners, key stakeholders, and future students.
Head of Internationalisation

Work with us

  • A large group of people lift a boat exhibition into place at Winchester Gallery

    Jobs at Southampton

    Find out about job opportunities at Winchester School of Art, including any current vacancies in our department.