Arts and Crafts in Scotland: Textiles with Glasgow School of Art

Arts and Crafts in Scotland: Textiles with Glasgow School of Art


I’m Laura Boomer and I am the Bureau Coordinator here at Centre for Advanced Textiles. We’re based at Glasgow School of Art. We’ve been here for almost 20 years now. We are a digital printing facility and we print onto natural based fibres. What makes us unique is the fact that we are the only institution that has a production facility based within education. Our clients are really varied. We work with GSA students, we also work with external students and small independent designers. We also work with even larger fashion houses. We offer shorter print runs so therefore it’s more accessible for students and arts and crafts makers. The more I got involved in the process then the more interested I was in the printing… …and the fabrics that can be used and the inks that are used. We work with natural base fibres and they can include linen, cotton, silk and wool. Those fabrics are a mixture of woven and knitted materials. We prepare digital files for printing. We then select the fabric that would be suitable for the clients work. The printing process starts by loading the machine with the selected fabric. Then we jog the fabric through on a sticky bed. We would then print those designs with our reactive dyes which are water-based inks. The fabric is then taken into the finishing process. This involves steaming and then is taken into the wash process. This would get rid of any excess ink or any excess chemicals that are on the fabric. The fabric is then dried and is ready then to ship out to customers. I’m really passionate about work that we do here at Glasgow School of Art. I think the variety of customers, the variety of jobs that go through the door is just quite amazing for such a small team. Our team of five are made up by three women and two have a textile background. I think it’s important that we are based here in Glasgow because we are supporting a long tradition of arts and crafts makers in Scotland. We are really proud to be working with Historic Environment Scotland on this project. As a woman I am really happy to be continuing the tradition of arts and crafts in Scotland.

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