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Application Information

Bio-Inspired Textiles: Maker Collaboration

The Bio-Inspired Textiles team, supported by the Craft Council, is looking for skilled textile practitioners to attend workshops and get paid to develop biologically informed textile artefacts to help us answer the question:


Can biology help us design more sustainable textiles?

Applications deadline: Midnight (BST), 16 June 2021

Apply now

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and supported by the Crafts Council, the Bio-Inspired Textiles (BIT) project aspires to introduce nature inspired design to sustainable and circular textile practice. BIT takes an integrated approach that addresses the disconnect between biomimetic research and stakeholders from the textile and fashion communities.


Who is this opportunity for?

Makers and designers with significant experience in any textile discipline and access to their own making facilities.


What does it involve?

The BIT team is looking for participants to engage in knowledge exchange with the BIT team through co-design workshops and to create innovative, biologically informed textile-based samples that will act as research demonstrators for the BIT project. The process is divided into two stages:

Stage one: Proposal preparation (September 2021)

The most suitable applicants (see ‘how to apply’ and ‘who can apply’ below) will be invited to create a project proposal in three phases:

  1. All stage one applicants attend an online introductory workshop.

  2. Each applicant attends a one-to-one session with the BIT team.

  3. Each applicant submits a project proposal to the BIT team within a week of their individual session.

Stage two: Prototype development (October-November 2021)

Following proposal submission, 10 of the applicants will be selected to carry out their projects and create prototypes on a funded basis.

  • Selected participants will receive a fixed fee between £1,500 - £2,000 (inc. VAT) to cover materials, time and any other costs as a result of the project.

  • Selected participants will have 6 weeks to develop the final artefacts (for funded proposals only).

  • Please note that a copy of the funded prototypes will belong to BIT and be used for education and research purposes.

Voluntary option:

Stage one participants whose proposals will not get selected in stage two will be encouraged, if they wish, to continue participating with the full support of the BIT team, but on a voluntary basis (without a fee) and much more flexible deadlines.

Individuals working on a voluntary basis will be asked to share digital copies of the work, which will belong to BIT, to be used for education and research purposes. (legal wording to be added).


Who can apply:

Applicants must:

  • Have significant experience in textile design, craft/making or industrial background in any textile sector;

  • Have practical skills in any of the associated disciplines (textiles, fashion design, weaving, embroidery, knitting) or similar and experience in producing textiles professionally whether for research, exhibitions or industry;

  • Have access to their own making facilities;

  • Be experienced collaborators;

  • Be comfortable with working remotely and attending online events;

  • Be based and eligible to work in the UK or EU.

We aspire to remove barriers and be open to all and strongly encourage applications from individuals currently underrepresented in the creative and cultural sectors. This includes but is not limited to people of African or Caribbean heritage; Arabic heritage; Latin American heritage; East Asian, South Asian and South East Asian heritage; people from traveller communities; disabled people; LGBTQIA+ people and people from a low-income background.

How to apply:

Please read all the supporting information on this page, browse the project’s website and watch the application guidance video before completing an application by midnight (BST), 16 June 2021.


To submit your application:

  • Complete the application form online 

Apply now
Guidance Video

Supporting information

All applications require:

  • A portfolio with up to four examples of recent projects with high quality images and descriptions (project / page as four individual jpg files)

  • A statement outlining what you wish to achieve by participating in this project

  • A copy of your CV (max 2 sides of A4 as a Word or PDF document)

  • A link to your website and/or social media (optional)

We also accept video/audio files as an alternative to text-based documents and applications that have been written or spoken by someone else on the applicant’s behalf.


Successful applications will clearly demonstrate:

  • your textile practice specialty from a design and technical perspective and that you have training relevant to the opportunity. This can include photographs or moving image of recent works, collaborative projects or work-in-progress.

  • that you have access to textile making/processing facilities which you can use for the project

  • your practical or research skills in any aspect of the textiles sector

  • your interest in learning from biology, curiosity and ambition to innovate sustainable textile design - experience in biologically informed design is not necessary.

  • how you could act as an advocate for the project, communicate your textile activities and support the project’s communication activities.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact:


Participant commitments:

Selected participants will be expected to:

  • Attend and actively participate in the workshop and one-to-one follow-up meetings.

  • Develop a proposal that will be reviewed on a competitive basis.

  • If your project proposal is selected, you will be expected to access your own facilities to implement it within a set period of time.

  • Participants are expected to record progress using photography and/or film.

  • Participants will be expected to act as advocates for the BIT research during active participation and when using the resources after the project completion. 

  • Participants must create a digital and physical (funded participants only) copies of each conceptual prototype for BIT that could be exhibited publicly and be used for education and research purposes.


Selection panel:

Veronika Kapsali, Principle Investigator of BIT, Cathryn Hall, Post-doctoral research fellow and Alma Daskalaki, innovation Manager Crafts Council.

We are aiming to notify all selected participants by the end of July 2021.


Why apply?

This is an exciting opportunity to join the BIT community and engage with the team, receive priority access to resources, news, events and future collaborative opportunities.

Whether engaged on a funded or voluntary basis, participants:

  • will gain experience in how design, materials engineering and biology intersect;

  • will develop knowledge and skills in bio-inspired sustainable design;

  • will get to apply the learnings into their own practice, teaching and/or research.

To download a PDF copy of the application information you can do so here:

Download PDF
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