Way back when, many of the world’s most significant artists, artisans and craftspeople benefited from a connection with a well run guild – a network or an association of sorts providing a space where they could learn new technologies and techniques, increase their knowledge base, broaden their networks and, importantly, cope with the challenges and changes thrown at them. The recent upheaval in the local fashion industry, with manufacturers closing down or moving offshore, has presented a whole new set of challenges for designers working in Australia.

The Textile & Fashion Hub project is a modern, open-minded reworking of a guild-like collective space. The Hub provides access to the right tools, ideas and innovative solutions to help meet today’s economic challenges, industry-related changes and international competition.

Launched just a couple of weeks ago, the initiative is an Australian first. A collaboration between the Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA), the Kangan Institute and the Australian Government, the concept is a relatively simple one. It’s a professional, state-of-the-art space that brings together small to medium fashion businesses and arms them with the tools for success and innovation – a place for businesses to develop.

The Hub aims to do this through a mix of programs and workshops, cutting-edge equipment and facilities for use and even an app.

The first set of workshops focuses on essential skills in digital printing, knitwear design and leather. The Hub also provides access to the latest equipment and technology, often out of reach for many designers. Seamless knitting machines, digital garment printers, a CAD room for pattern making and a slightly scary sounding Spacevision Cartesia 3D body scanner. There’s also a pre-production room, resource library, space to create and seminars on offer. The sky is the limit as to what can be created.

Hub participants will also be able to use the smartphone TFIApp, a mobile sourcing tool, listing TFIA members and Hub participants to create a one-of-a-kind directory of the local fashion industry.

An innovative venture, the Hub is sure to play a large part in supporting the local fashion industry. The focus on sustainable practices and efficient product development is forward looking and the project combines freethinking with a variety of high level skills and knowledge so that businesses can grow and new markets can be explored with confidence and originality.

Check the Hub’s website for details of upcoming leather, knit and print workshops.

Textile & Fashion Hub
85 Cremorne Street, Richmond