Returning to source: linen lace and concrete collaborations

Ruth Morrow, Patricia Belford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper will chart the development of a follow-on Research Project: which aims to capitalize commercially and culturally on lab-based findings, from an earlier practice-led grant. Findings from that original project eventually led to the patenting of technologies that allowed textiles and concrete to combine to co-form unique and highly aesthetic tactile upper surfaces on concrete panels. This technology was later the starting point for an innovative spin-out company: Tactility Factory.
The paper will provide some background on the textiles and concrete skins and the cultural drivers behind the research. It will then look at the current project, still in its early stages, where the original inventors (the authors) 'return to source' and drawing on their 10 year experience seek to achieve the same outcomes but with more advanced textiles technology in partnership with a Scottish Textile Company. The aim is for a less complex manufacturing process that reduces time and increases commercial outcomes. It involves changing aspects of the weaving process of the textile firm to take on the learning from Tactility Factory of how textiles become infused in concrete surfaces and it means the concrete technology adjusting to work in tandem with finer and closer weaves.
This is also a story of collaboration across the textile and construction industries and the paper will go on to discuss the potential impact of this research on Material Development and the role of design in that process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th Conference on Advanced Building Skins: Proceedings
PublisherAdvanced Building Skins GmbH
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print) 978-3-9524883-1-7
Publication statusPublished - 02 Oct 2017
EventAdvanced Building Skins, Bern, Switzerland: 12th Conference on Advanced Building Skins - Bern, Switzerland
Duration: 02 Oct 201703 Oct 2017


ConferenceAdvanced Building Skins, Bern, Switzerland
Internet address


  • Concrete
  • Textiles
  • Linen
  • Material Development
  • Design
  • architectural design


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