News

Virtual Samples

How do you work through 10 different colour ways or logo designs without having to guess which will be the best? How do you enthuse and excite your stakeholders about your design before a sample has been made? How can you test multiple aesthetic variations… Read More »Virtual Samples

Nobody’s skin…

Assuming you’re happy that yeast is definitely not an animal (it’s a fungus….I double-checked) then Zoa is an animal-free alternative to leather. as far as I understand it there’s a bit of DNA cut-and-shut which is re-homed into little yeast cell factorys which grow the… Read More »Nobody’s skin…

Visual samples

We produce beautifully finished prototypes of concepts for our clients to use in many different ways; we work hard to create prototypes that work right and look great.

Old skills, new product

As a child Dr Franz Freudenthal visited indigenous communities in the mountains of Bolivia with his doctor grandmother. On these trips she would quote a snippet of Rudyard Kipling “Something hidden. Go and find it.

Exosuit white blue

Exosuit Launches!

Exosuit gives athletes proprioceptive feedback to help improve posture, stability and feeling of power.

Merry Christmas 2018!

Wishing all our clients, suppliers and collaborators a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. We look forward to working together in 2019!

Bat Bot the aerobatic robot

I have an ongoing fascination with bats, bat wings and bat flight and so was delighted to come across this bat-based aerobatic robot.

A cracking idea

A big theme in textiles and materials development at the moment is sustainability and recycling so this story about egg packaging made of eggs has scrambled our minds. Researchers as Tuskegee University added egg shell nanoparticles (350,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair) to… Read More »A cracking idea

Hot tap, cold tap

This morning we were discussing how hot a roomful of 30 people doing tap get in the summer (not a theoretical discussion but a pressing one after a very hot tap class). Another person in the class had a cooling towel which was as cool… Read More »Hot tap, cold tap

The very hungry caterpillar…

…on saturday he ate through one piece of chocolate cake, one ice-cream cone, one pickle……and 184mg of supermaket plastic shopping bag.

Prototype animals

While sorting through images I came across these photos of a prototype bag for a highly technical mechanism we made a few years ago.

Robot Folding

We were intrigued to come across Dextrous Blue, a robot developed in a collaborative project between three european universities

GoBag kicks off

We’re delighted that the GoBag 2 Kickstarter campaign has launched and already exceeded its £10,000 goal

Elora Ancelot

Elora has an MSc in Advanced Product Design from Cardiff Metropolitan University.

Georgie Leigh

Georgie is a textile prototyper with a background in costume construction, tailoring and bridal. Georgie’s interest in costume was born out of a desire to explore different and unusual materials, construction techniques and the chance to create something visually exciting and that communicates to its… Read More »Georgie Leigh

Compostable clothing

It’s interesting how frequently a simple idea requires a large amount of perseverance and follows a complicated path before it physically exsists.

Inuit fishing

Clarence Birdseye

“I do not consider myself a remarkable person. I am just a guy with a very large bump of curiosity”

It’s too hot

I’m British. It’s over 30 degrees centigrade. Today I want to be covered in this cooling film

A Singer sewing machine taken back to bits

The pattern pieces that make a sewing machine

In his book, Things come apart, Todd McLellan takes everyday objects, breaks them down into their constituent parts, lays them out and photographs them. These images highlight the hidden complexity of the products around us.

Silver nano wire

Just like our Mums always said….

…turn the heating down and put another jumper on, except that now that extra jumper might be dip-coated in a silver nanowire solution that makes the fabric highly radiation insulating.

(left) KONE Ultrarope in lift hoisting machine and (right) KONE Ultrarope next to standard twisted steel lift cables

Where bikes lead, lift cables follow?

For a long time all bikes were made of steel, then came aluminium and then carbon fibre. For fairly similar reasons (improved strength per unit weight) KONE have developed the Ultrarope (TM) lift cables based on a carbon fibre core.

No really, this is the new black

I still remember being a child and my Grandad telling me that black was the absence of all light. It was an astonishing thought as I couldn’t fathom how it could be absence if I could see it.

Off to ISPO

On Monday, Thread is off to Munich for ISPO, the sports industry trade fair….

Chris Lewis

Chris is a product designer who became passionate about specialising in products with textiles after designing a technical jacket for hand-cyclists.

Administrative assistant

We’re looking for a responsible Office Assistant capable of performing various light administrative and practical tasks in our office.

Textile prototyper

We’re looking for a highly skilled textile prototyper to help us create beautifully well-finished 3D prototypes of a diverse range of products eg. Rucksacks, body armour, pouches for medical devices, technical sports clothing etc.

Mechanical engineering

We develop and incorporate mechanical and functional features such as mechanisms and moulded fixtures into products we design, and can develop moulded components, mechanisms and internal structural elements.

Industrial design

We work closely with our clients to realise their aims. Some know exactly what they want their product to be like, and others come to us with a problem to solve. Collaborative sessions are a great way to find solutions, generate ideas and drive innovation:… Read More »Industrial design

Manufacture support

Manufacture lead times often get extended by toing and froing with the factory. This is why we take an engineering approach to technical packs; Patterns, samples and detailed specifications eliminate ambiguity in the handover from designer to manufacturer, minimising errors that can arise through misinterpretation.

Thread Materials Library

Materials and sourcing

We source materials, fixtures and fittings from a wide range of suppliers, from local retailers to global manufacturers. Our materials library is continually growing and contains materials fromcotton canvas to highly technical textiles. We are continually looking for new fabrics to fulfil our clients needs

Body-Armour Defense Prototyping

MOD unveils futuristic uniform design

Great to see a project we contributed to being launched. We worked with Kinneir Dufort to develop the body armour prototypes and produced the final prototype shown in the video in house at Thread. Website link: MOD unveils futuristic uniform design, 16th September 2015

EPSRC centre for innovative manufacturing in industrial sustainability: fourth annual conference

An interesting conference in Cambridge with several thought-provoking talks. Kresse (of Elvis & Kresse) was particularly inspirational and challenging. I saw her speak when the company was just starting out and fell in love with the reclaimed firehose material. It’s an amazing story of rescuing… Read More »EPSRC centre for innovative manufacturing in industrial sustainability: fourth annual conference

medical pouch leather diabetes

Kinneir Dufort: medical device pouches

For the last 5 years Thread have been working with Kinneir Dufort, providing design support, fabric sourcing, prototyping and manufacture data for soft medical products they design for leading international healthcare clients

Brands

This is a post to describe the kind of work we do for brands

Mamascent

Mamascent

Design and development for Mamascent, a bottle attachment that recreates the sensory benefits of breastfeeding for bottle-fed babies.

Solar cells

Developing the design of portable power systems for defense, adventure and consumer users.

Thread Design and Development

Prototyping

Making is at the heart of all projects at Thread. We prototype to explore, develop, test, communicate and sell ideas, concepts and products. This important with all design projects, and is especially important with textiles. Our prototyping studio is well equipped with industrial sewing machines,… Read More »Prototyping

Research

Books, Google, primary research, user research, inspiration; all these help to bring understanding to a design project. Insights drive projects and facilitate successful design. Research, and particularly user research helps generate insight. We also use research to identify manufacturers, suppliers, new technologies and materials, processes… Read More »Research

Medical

Medical and healthcare projects demand careful consideration of users and the environment of use, minimisation of risks and careful material selection.

Rachel Tomlinson

With a penchant for making products that have a distinct impact on a user’s quality of life, Rachel is our textiles specialist with a background in manufacturing and industrial design engineering.

Sam Ghazaros

Sam Ghazaros

Sam loves technical problem solving. From designing a ventilation system for high-performance outdoor clothing to developing aids for disabled children. He’s happy so long as there is a problem that would benefit from a solution.

Marks and Spencer Autograph shwop coat

A shoddy coat from M&S? Well, yes and no.

Really interested to see the M&S ‘shwop’ coat. Firstly, it’s great that clothes that are unsuitable for charity shops or reuse can still have value. Secondly, it reduces costs. Lastly, I find the rebranding of what is actually a fairly old idea quite funny.

The future of India’s textile industry

India has a long history of textile skill in development and production. This is reflected in the number of words we have in English that derive from Indian languages including calico, gingham, khaki, seersucker and chintz.

Screws made of baked silk for pinning broken bones

The spiders have the answer

Silk is an extraordinary material with several amazing properties. It can provide excellent ballistic protection and has been used extensively in the past and perhaps slightly more surprsingly is part of the current issue of kit for British soldiers.

19th century digital

Jacquard weaving is a development of traditional loom weaving that integrates a system of punched cards (see above) that can control the position of the warp (lengthways threads) and therefore what colour and pattern is visible on the surface of the fabric. These punchcards automate… Read More »19th century digital

MIPS helmet technology

When I was on honeymoon in New Zealand a few years ago we gatecrashed (politely asked if we could join in) a symposium at the University of Otago entitled “Technologies in Sport: Performance, Bodies and Ethics”. Probably not most people’s idea of a good use… Read More »MIPS helmet technology

HMS Argus painted with dazzle camouflage

Hiding in plain sight

In a recent meeting there was a discussion about obscuring the outline of an object or body which reminded me of this early and bold camouflage.

(left) Blowfly eggs on a moulded zip and (right) a standard coil zip

An unexpected context for a discussion about zip quality

It’s not often there’s an overlap between textile product design and forensic science, but research undertaken by Poulomi Bhadra (an MSc student at King’s College, London) in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police and the Natural History Museum seems to have found one.

Leckey Leeway pelvic harness Design Healthcare Medical

Leckey Leeway launched!

The Leckey Leeway pelvic cradle (that Thread helped Leckey to develop) has just been launched. It provides improved postural support and proprioceptive feedback for wheelchair users.

BMW Gina

A fabric-covered car

The BMW GINA concept car was made a few years ago but I started thinking about it the other day. It’s such a different way of thinking of a car.

Steve Jobs on design

“Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers of the product or service.”