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Textile Industries at the University of Leeds

Nature volume 155, page 73 (20 January 1945) | Download Citation



THE steady expansion of the wool textile industry of Great Britain up to 1914 was based on the lead given by early textile inventors, aided by the unique skill acquired by successive generations of craftsmen. A great structure had been erected on a foundation of simple empiricism; but the industrialist was still applying imperfectly understood processes to a material of unknown composition and properties. As the training of textile technologists was in the hands of craftsmen with neither scientific training nor research experience, there could be no hope of breaking the vicious circle of empiricism until scientific workers were persuaded to make a study of textile materials and processes. A first step in this direction was taken by the Department of Textile Industries of the University of Leeds in 1919, when a lecturer in textile chemistry was appointed. From this small beginning it was hoped in time to build up such a body of knowledge that textile technology would be transformed into an applied science. This, in turn, was intended to provide the Department with a staff of technologists having scientific as well as technical qualifications; to create a bond between science and the industry by giving its recruits a combined training in science and technology; and to provide industrial research laboratories with scientific men trained in the methods of research on textile materials and processes.

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