Research Output
Light-emitting Lace: a textile and lighting modular system
  Light-emitting Lace is a textile lighting proof of concept modular system comprising woven optical fibre and textile illuminator and the result of two, Textile Future Forum (TFF) Challenge Fund Awards to accelerate Scottish industry-led step change and transformational innovation. With Robertson (PI), as Co-Investigator, I initiated, developed and joint-led the project, Light-emitting Innovative Textiles, 2016 (project value: £75.3k incl. in-kind). As Principal Investigator, in collaboration with Robertson and fellow lighting expert, Innes as Co-I, I led the follow-on cross-sector project, ‘Innovative Lighting Solutions for Smart Textile Production’, 2018 (project value: £97.3k incl. in-kind).

The scope was to provide heritage lace manufacturers, MYB Textiles an opportunity to develop smart textile products and allow strategic investment into new market routes. The researched aimed to develop specialist production capacity for weaving optical fibre as light-emitting lace and in collaboration with industry specialists, Mike Stoane Lighting, the research aimed to develop specialised lighting systems for illuminating newly developed woven optical fibre, as an integrated lightsource component. Design-led textile production, lighting and engineering prototyping was carried out across specialist light labs, studio set-ups and manufacturing sites.

The combined modular system marks a significant departure from existing commercial products as a selvage lit product and as high-end, textile sympathetic solutions for interior-based lighting applications for both lit and unlit environments. The work was showcased at Light + Building, Frankfurt and subsequently, the Materials Research Exchange & Investor Showcase London, March 2018; at Lace Unravelled exhibition, Bonington Gallery Nottingham, as a one-off artefact, ‘Digital Lace as Scottish Madras’ and in the accompanying Lace Unravelled symposium, Newstead Abbey Nottingham, insights into the collaborative process were presented, March 2018; and, by invitation, at IKEA of Sweden, Almhult, Sweden (Taylor & Robertson) 2017. The research also prompted two, European funded cross-sector projects to advance further product and market development.

  • Type:

    Devices / Products

  • Date:

    01 April 2016

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    NC Drawing Design Illustration

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    729 Design & decoration

  • Funders:

    Heriot Watt University


Taylor, S., Robertson, S., & Innes, M. (2018). Light-emitting Lace: a textile and lighting modular system




Lace, light,

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