Film ID: YFA 2483 Video of YFA_2483 Thinking of Textiles THINKING OF TEXTILES 1978 Visitor TabsDescription This film is part of the John Murray collection and was made by the Audio Visual Unit at Leeds University, profiling the Centre for Technical Textiles and Department of Textile Industries. There are interviews with several post graduate students who graduated from several of the textile courses and who are now working in the industry. They talk about the relevance of the courses in the contemporary market by helping to develop pioneering new methods in textile chemistry. This film opens with a flock of sheep running out of a pen and into a field. The voiceover says that textiles have been around as long as humans have and that there are now modern materials as well as wool and cotton. There are shots of the uses of the materials in various industries including the manufacture of sails, bullet proof vests and thermal insulation. This is followed by shots of wool manufacture starting with the shearing of the sheep and ending with woollen fibres and products. Title-Thinking of Textiles? There are shots taken in various departments at the University of Leeds textile department. In one laboratory a man has come up with a material, that once heated and placed around areas of the body, will harden into a mould and will therefor give a perfect mould of the body and therefore the clothing sizes. There are shots of him putting the material on a woman's front and removing it to reveal a perfect copy. In another laboratory a technician is demonstrating the newest way of weaving intricate patterns in cloth. Using a stylus, he draws the design on a board which in turn goes into a computer and is inputted into the weaving machine. Following this are interviews with the graduates who now work in different textile departments and companies. One man works for the textile quality control department in Marks and Spencer, while a woman works for West Riding Fabrics in Guiseley. They talk about their day to day jobs and how the scientific processes work. The man working for Marks and Spencer has found a problem with one order of pyjamas and bring sus through the whole process of what he does to rectify this. There are many shots and illustrations of scientific methods that help to determine what the problems are with a material. The last section of the film is set back at University of Leeds where new students are attending lectures and workshops. There is a lot of footage of the different lecturers giving talks and explaining the basic principles of textile technology as well as showing them the scientific methods and explanations of tests that are used in the industry. The University of Leeds graduates talk one last time to the interviewer and explain that without getting a degree from the University, that they would never have ended up in the jobs in which they are happy. Context With the pressure to do a vocational course at university rather less in the 1970s than today, Leeds University do their best to sell their textile courses to prospective students. Before the trend towards short, snappy promotionals, here we have a fairly full account of what students are likely to expect if they choose to study textiles at Leeds, with students out working with industry and expressing their pleasure at finding satisfying jobs. This is one of a number of films made by the Audio Visual Department at Leeds University throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s, under their head, John Murray, including several promotional films. Leeds University, being so close to the West Yorkshire textile industry, has always had a thriving textile department, which today has branched out into new fields of architectural textiles, intelligent textile materials, medical and sports uses, and the environmental impact of textiles. After a large rise in the 1960s, the numbers of students in HE was pretty stagnant during the 1970s and up to the conversion of many polytechnics into universities from the early 1990s.