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SFT welcomes Prof. Wang Xungai

SFT is pleased to announce the hire of Prof. Wang Xungai, the newly appointed Chair Professor of Fibre Science and Technology. Before joining SFT, Prof. Wang held the position of an Alfred Deakin Professor, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Future Fibres), and Director of the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres at Deakin University in Australia. Prof. Wang obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Fibre Science and Technology and Graduate Diploma of Higher Education from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 1992 and 1996 respectively. He worked as Senior Lecturer at the UNSW before he joined Deakin to start research on fibre/textile materials there in 1998. He held a Personal Chair at Deakin and was the Director of Centre for Material and Fibre Innovation from 2008 to 2010. Between 2011 and 2017, Prof Wang served as Deputy Director and then Director of the largest research institute at Deakin, the Institute for Frontier Materials, which enjoys the highest ERA ranking score of 5 in Australia. Prof. Wang received the Fiber Society Award for Distinguished Achievement in Fiber Science and the H&M Foundation Global Change Award in 2005 and 2017 respectively. In 2019, the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres led by Professor Wang received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Industry and Employer Partnerships. Prof. Wang's research interests are primarily in sustainable fibres and textiles. He is Editor-in-Chief of a premier journal in the textile field, the Journal of the Textile Institute (UK).

11 Aug, 2022

Announcements

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PolyU MA Graduation Fashion Show 2022 “THEN, NOW, META”

SFT held its dynamic MA Graduation Fashion Show 2022 last night (28 July 2022) at The Mills. More than 200 guests were in attendance, including representatives from the fashion industry and media. Over 1000 audiences were watching the live show on YouTube and Xiaoe-tech. The theme of this year's show, “Then, Now, Meta”, is a metaphor for the collective, yet diverse journey that students have embarked on through their work. Of the 17 graduating students from the Master of Arts (MA) in Fashion and Textile Design who showcased an exploration of the past, studying and mastering the learnings of yesterday through their fashion collections. Some had reacted to our current times and questioned the reality of today. Whilst others encountered the future and contemplated the boundless opportunities of tomorrow. In addition to ingenuity in design, students put great effort into creating their own materials. For example, students produced unique fabric finishes using natural plant dying techniques, and established new approaches to embroidery and embellishment using epoxy resins. Furthermore, digital technologies such as three-dimensional design software CLO3D and Blender were widely adopted, in order to minimize the material consumed in the production process and improve the sustainability of the designs. Opening the Show was student Lin Ruo-ming, Lyn, alumni of the Zhujiang College of South China Agricultural University. Her collection was inspired by her observations of Hong Kong people drying their garments in public areas. She felt that this metaphorically reflected the “Pajama Culture” of Shanghai where pajamas, which are ordinarily used to sleep in, are worn as everyday dress. Both the role of public spaces and pajamas have been reconfigured. Her menswear collection included beautifully patterned silk shirts which directly referenced pajamas. In addition, there were some strong denim pieces, particularly a pair of shorts that looked like a fusion of two garments. Lyn wanted to create a sense of "harmonized regional confusion" with each outfit. Another highlight of the evening was a sustainable collection created by Wang Zi-yi, Sylvia alumni of Zhejiang Sci-tech University. Her collection was fully patterned using the digital software, CLO3D to reduce the amount of material used in the development of her collection. Sylvia has a strong background in textiles and developed all her own sustainable fabrics, including in particular organic silks that had been naturally dyed using plants and vegetables. Conceptually, her collection explores the relationship between architecture and nature. Each garment appeared as a robust structure, the textile surface of which looked like it had been naturally eroded by the environment. Closing the show was alumni of from Dalian Art College, Bao Yi-fan, Evan. Evan’s collection was inspired by his surroundings and how he connects with people and objects emotionally. He used a journal to document his state of mind and surroundings, and then visualize them through his design. Evan patterned his collection using CLO3D, and digitally simulated thethrowing of clothes onto the floor and over a chair. His collection had a young, rebellious feeling, with its own chaotic harmony. Developing his own textiles, a particularly interesting feature of the collection was how he bleached and dyed denim and jersey pieces using a wig covered in hair bleach and blue hair dye. Mr Ryan Scott HOULTON, the programme leader, hopes that talented and ambitious young designers can fully demonstrate their creative potential through this practical one-year course. He remarked, “This programme aims to nurture future industry mavericks, who are innovative and free-thinking. We also equip them with comprehensive skillset. I look forward to seeing our graduates shine in the field, and become a new driving force and potential disrupters in the global fashion industry.”

1 Aug, 2022

Shows & Exhibitions

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PolyU X HKFYG co-presents “#WYWT Fashion Show” showcasing youth creativity in fashion for social good

On 16 July 2022, 20 teenagers from vulnerable and challenging backgrounds, together with members of the Youth Crime Prevention Centre of The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups (HKFYG), presented 20 fashion collections they designed in collaboration with 76 students from PolyU, at the “#WYWT - What You Wear Tomorrow- Fashion Show”. The 20 teenagers glammed themselves up for the runway presentation of the designs they had worked on together with the PolyU students. The event vividly showcased the creativity and confidence of the participants through their creations and aimed to encourage more of our young generation to stay true in life. The Show was co-organised by the PolyU School of Fashion and Textiles (SFT), (formerly known as the Institute of Textiles and Clothing), the PolyU Service-learning and Leadership Office and HKFYG. The idea was to unleash the teenagers’ creative potential and enhance their self-confidence. The programme also allowed the PolyU students to apply the practical skills they had acquired on their courses and enhance their sense of social responsibility through serving the community. The Show was held at the HKFYG Building and Officiating Guests at the kick-off ceremony included Prof. Raymond WONG, Interim Dean of the SFT; Prof. Eric CHUI, Head of Department of Applied Social Science; Mr Wilson CHAN, Deputy Executive Director of HKFYG; Dr Joe AU and Dr Joanne YIP, Associate Deans of the SFT. The project leader, Dr Jin LAM, who is also SFT Assistant Professor, said, “Through #WYWT’, we hope that the young generation can develop the strengths and talent within themselves and in others, and learn to appreciate and have confidence in themselves. “While connecting the community with the positive , we believe that by using fashion as a medium, through the co-designed outfits, both the teenage participants and the PolyU students would be able to fully express their own unique values and potential and pluck up the courage to face life’s challenges.” Mr Wilson CHAN, Deputy Executive Director of HKFYG remarked that, “I am a firm believer that everyone has talent, and I am so happy that this student-led project has given all the participants the opportunity to showcase their creativity and imagination. To participate in a process that encompasses every level of fashion production, from ideation to presentation, and by weaving art and fashion together to highlight their stories, both the PolyU students and the Federation’s teenage participants have gained a greater understanding of their strengths, thoughts and feelings. This will go a long way in building up their confidence and creativity. Two of the participants, Yi and Hong, expressed their thoughts on their participation.  Yi, who had dreamed of being a teacher when she was young, had to contend with a difficult family environment, filled with misunderstandings, bickering and high expectations, which resulted in her becoming extremely stressed and exhibiting extreme behaviour. Joining the #WYWT programme, Yi was able to realise her innermost thoughts through textile art and incorporated her concepts into clothing design. In addition, by applying the calligraphy skills that she had learned, Yi also expressed her feelings in exquisite literary style by writing a chrysanthemum poem to convey her hopes of pursuing her goals.  Hong grew up with a single parent lacking financial and spiritual support, turning him into an introverted personality. However, with his talent in sports and in particular cycling, Hong had always wanted to become a professional cyclist and wear cycling outfits he had designed himself to represent Hong Kong in international competitions. He was unable to do this without adequate resources and support. However, working with his team in the #WYWT programme, Hong was able to integrate his ideas into the clothing design. Thus, he was able to demonstrate his determination by overcoming challenges and difficulties, and express himself boldly through his design and styling, while engaging in a unique experience that he says has enriched his life.

26 Jul, 2022

Shows & Exhibitions

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SFT welcomes new staff members

SFT is pleased to welcome the following new Research Assistant Professors to the academic team. Dr Fang Bo received his Ph.D. degree from Zhejiang University. During his Ph.D. study, he focused on the performance enhancement and energy conversion ability of graphene fibres. In October 2020, he joined ITC (now renamed as SFT) as a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Xiaoming Tao’s group where he studied the scalable production of ultrafine polyaniline fibres and soft organic electrochemical transistors based on conducting polymer fibres. Dr Fang’s research interests cover new-frontier functional fibres, ultrathin sensors, and non-invasive biomarker test techniques. He has published influential academic papers in the field of functional fibres and wearable devices in internationally renowned journals, including Science, Nature Communications, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, Materials Horizons, etc.   Dr Fu Jimin obtained his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at PolyU in 2019 and then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at ITC (now renamed as SFT). Dr Fu’s research interest lies in the theoretical and computational modelling of multi-length scale physical and mechanical behaviours in advanced materials, biological materials and related devices. He uses molecular dynamics simulation, combined with the density functional theory and continuum mechanics methods to develop methods to quantitatively predict physical and mechanical behaviours in novel wearable devices. His work has been published in top-tier journals including ACS Nano, Advanced Functional Materials, Energy Storage Materials, Advanced Science, etc. The ultimate goal of his research is to transfer the knowledge learned from natural materials with superior functions to engineering materials by rationally designing their structure. Dr Kang Zhanxiao received his Ph.D. degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Hong Kong in 2017. Then, he worked as Postdoctoral Fellow at ITC (now renamed SFT) since early 2018. He has more than ten years of research experience in thermal engineering. His research interests include heat and mass transfer, computational fluid dynamics, body thermoregulation modelling, and wearable technology for body thermal management. He has published over 25 peer-reviewed journal papers in journals including Building and Environment, International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer, International Journal of Thermal Sciences, Applied Thermal Engineering, etc. He is also a reviewer of many academic journals including the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Chemical Engineering Journal, Journal of Thermal Biology, etc.

20 Jul, 2022

Announcements

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Survey on consumer perceptions of sustainable fashion in Hong Kong and Macau

The School of Fashion and Textiles (SFT) and a Japanese global apparel retailer UNIQLO today jointly released the results of the “Survey on Consumer Perceptions of Sustainable Fashion in Hong Kong and Macau”, which explores the views and perceptions of consumers in Hong Kong and Macau on sustainable fashion and the changing consumption patterns brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey was designed and operated by Dr Di Fan, Assistant Professor, Dr Chris Lo, Associate Professor and Ms Weiqing Yan from SFT. Survey results showed that over 80% of Hong Kong and Macau consumers understand the concept of “sustainable development”, and about 56% of them are aware of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations. Overall consumer attitudes towards apparel retail brands in Hong Kong and Macau are linked to the brand's sustainable development goals (SDGs) vision and actions. In view of the COVID-19 outbreak, consumers have become more concerned about sustainable fashion, with more than 80% of respondents saying they would consider a brand's position and approach to sustainability issues when selecting clothing, and more than 60% saying they would be willing to pay a premium of 10% to 20% above the original price for a sustainable fashion product. The pandemic has significantly changed many consumers’ apparel requirements. More than 80% of respondents believe that whether a product is sustainable will affect their selection on a retail apparel brand. 64% of respondents believe that the pandemic has made them more likely to buy durable clothing. At the same time, the respondents also said that during the pandemic, they paid more attention to the practicality (66.4%) and product quality (50.7%), followed by price (47.7%), appearance (35.4%) and personalization (30.1%). “An increasing number of fashion brands or industry experts have been paying more attention on sustainable development in recent years. We have seen the competitiveness of apparel retail brands gradually expand from product design and price to sustainability considerations, making ‘sustainable fashion’ more of a concern to consumers,” said Dr Di Fan, who coordinated the survey. He believed that this change in consumer spending patterns can have a positive impact on the fashion industry’s existing business model, and this change in behavior is evidence of a general awareness of the environmental pollution caused by the fashion industry. Over 40% of the respondents were neutral on whether apparel retail brands are “honest”, “reliable” and “able to do the right thing”. The survey also revealed that consumer trust is relevant to their propensity to purchase zero-carbon products. More than 60 percent of respondents were positive about sustainable fashion, but their preference for sustainable fashion was relatively low. Dr Chris Lo, who specializes in sustainable supply chains in the fashion industry, said, “In general, consumers are concerned that brands will pass on the cost of producing and selling sustainable products to consumers, and that design may be limited using sustainable materials. The fashion industry should strengthen its public education and publicity channels to increase consumers’ awareness of the sustainability of the fashion industry and thereby dispel their myths. The School of Fashion and Textiles will continue its effort in sustainable fashion education, so as to increase the awareness among consumers and industry practitioners”.

12 Jul, 2022

Research & Innovation

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Congratulations Lydia: Newest management trainee @ La Perla

Over the past decades, the flagship programme of the School of Fashion and Textiles (SFT, previously known as ITC), the BA (Honours) Scheme in Fashion and Textiles, has nurtured nearly three hundred young fashion talents to support the fashion and textile industry in Hong Kong, Mainland China and internationally. Recently, one of our graduating student, Lydia Ng (BA, 2022), has been hired as Management Trainee at La Perla, a crafted luxury Italian lingerie, nightwear and swimwear brand. "Over the past year at La Perla as a merchandising intern, I have gained eye-opening insights and experiences into the luxury fashion industry, and I am more than grateful to receive my graduate job offer to continue working there as a management trainee," Lydia shared. Lydia has always been interested in and determined to pursue her career in the luxury fashion industry since young. In recent years, the pandemic has hindered the fresh graduates when it comes to job searching, especially in the retail industry. "La Perla has offered me so many insightful opportunities, from the participation of cross-departmental functions, to the collaboration with overseas counterparts. There are so much I never experienced, but I am excited to learn more. During a market analysis I did lately, I was able to apply the knowledge and skills that I have learnt and acquired from ITC (currently renamed as SFT). I am pleased that my supervisors appreciated my hard work and seriously considered my suggestions for future planning. I am thankful that I chose this programme as the beginning for my journey in the fashion industry." Lydia said.

12 Jul, 2022

Alumni

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JIM Yu-ching Natalie wins HKJC Scholarship

Congratulations to JIM Yu Ching Natalie, who has received a prestigious scholarship from the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC). This scholarship covers her tuition fee, academic expenses and living costs for the entire normal duration of her study towards her degree programme, and a Jockey Club Scholars Alumni Association membership. A Fashion Design Talent: ‘Art is a significant part of my life.’ Natalie loves the arts and music because they excite her. In summer 2018, Natalie fell in love with apparel design when she had the opportunity to enroll in summer school lessons such as interior, graphic, and fashion design courses at the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) in the United States. Then, Natalie explored the art and design industry, and decided that this would be her future career. Since other universities in Hong Kong do not provide a Bachelor’s degree programme for fashion design, Natalie chose ITC to further her education. During her undergraduate years, Natalie has learned many skills, such as sewing and pattern making in Year 1, which brings her step by step closer to her fashion design dream. Using basic knowledge, Natalie has started her own brands to express her viewpoint and share her message through her fashion designs. She loves to explore new things and meet others who share her values. Natalie has launched two brands, Yu.studio and Didueverdotcom (DID’DUE). The former offers handmade beaded accessories. Natalie believes that accessories with unique designs and colours can be companions in one’s life journey, and encourages people to pursue their dream. The latter is high-quality clothing from South Korea with the aim to provide more different possibilities in styling and build up the confidence of her customers as well as meet the needs of every type of customer. Products that are made with love and creativity reflect Natalie’s image. A Big Thank You to Supporters: ‘Thanks for always being here.’ To achieve her goals, Natalie feels that support and understanding from her supporters are very important. Natalie is appreciative of the support of her parents, even though they do not believe that there is a bright future in the art industry. Besides, PolyU also provides different opportunities and experiences to students. One of the most striking experiences is her internship at the ITC Store. Also, the ITC professors never reject the ideas of students, and allow them to create unique projects. Natalie encourages students who interested in the fashion design industry to enroll in ITC.

24 Jun, 2022

Teaching & Learning

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PolyU x POPCORN Webinar | Fashion & Music as Self-discovery: The Story of Jace Chan

Nearly 150 staff and students attended the "PolyU x POPCORN Webinar", which was held on 8 April on the PolyU ITCStore. The webinar featured an emerging singer, songwriter, and actress, Ms Jace Chan, who shared her personal stories about how music and fashion have influenced the advancement of her career. A dream catcher Jace has started a new trend in the music industry as she has an intense individual style. Not only is she an emerging singer but also a fashion icon in Hong Kong. She has never given up pursuing her dream to be a singer. She is now one of the new generation idols and has a positive impact on the Hong Kong music industry. A unique fashion icon of the new generation Jace has collaborated with different fashion brands that demonstrate her distinctive style and image. In her latest music video, ‘Long D’, she wore vintage garments that contributed to the aesthetics of the music video. The video shows her chic image. She styles herself through intuition and talent. ‘Ego’ and ‘Unique’ describe her fashion sense and she always insists on showing the special components to everyone. Fondness for colours People may think that Jace is a 'colourful' person, who wears colourful outfits for different events and occasions. Did you know that her favourite colour is green? Green is a comfortable and perceptive colour that represents fearlessness and innovation. Never give up Jace encourages students to stay true to their own designs and styles, and have an open-mind towards fashion styling. Students should never let go of any opportunity to pursue their dreams. In fact, she is a successful role model herself as she too pursued her dreams one step at a time. Today, she is a diva and her talent is recognised by the general public. Her songs are becoming more popular. Her fans appreciate her efforts and devotion to music. Jace Chan – an unwavering artist. We’ll always support you.

16 May, 2022

Teaching & Learning

Staff promotion

ITC is delighted to announce Dr Qiyao Huang has been promoted to Assistant Professor effective 1 April 2022. Dr Qiyao Huang earned both her BA and PhD degrees in Textile Technology from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her interest centres on developing flexible and wearable electronics based on textile materials by combining conventional textile techniques with advanced materials and nanotechnology. Her research topics include: Metallic textiles Textile-based electrochemical energy storage Sensing devices Congratulations Dr Huang! We wish her continued success at ITC.  

13 May, 2022

Announcements

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Scalable production of ultrafine polyaniline fibres for wearable electronics

High performance conducting polymer fibres are in high demand in applications that range from advanced fibrous devices to frontier fabric electronics. Recently, a joint research team led by Prof. Tao Xiaoming and Dr Chai Yang reported a scalable good solvent exchange strategy to produce ultrafine polyaniline (PAni) fibres. This work is published in Nature Communications. The first and second authors are Dr Fang Bo and Mr Jianmin An (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-29773-9). The extended conjugated and easily doped π-system along the backbone enables conducting polymers to possess intriguing transport, optical, and electrochemical properties, which have been rarely found in conventional polymers and metal conductors. Processing conducting polymers into macroscopically fibrous materials makes it possible to translate their nano-object features to human-friendly products in a continuous manner. Primarily due to the large diameters, the performance and expectations of most achieved continuous conducting polymer fibres (CPFs) have been limited by their insufficient electroactive surface and weak tensile strength. In conventional wet spinning processes, conducting polymer dopes give rise to transient solidification in poor solvents, induced by the strong interactions of conducting polymer chains. The rapidly hardened gels suppress the post-stretching and slenderising procedures, and cause the wet-spun CPFs to show a large diameter, generally beyond 10 µm. The large diameters largely discount the mechanical properties and electrochemical activities of CPFs. As shown in Figure 1, Prof. Tao’s group report a good solvent exchange strategy in a modified wet spinning technique to prepare ultrafine PAni fibres (UFPFs) at a large scale. Beyond the conventional wet spinning protocol, they replaced poor solvents with good solvents as the coagulation bath to decrease the viscosity of the gel protofibres, which were subject to an ultrahigh drawing ratio and reduced to an ultrafine morphology. In the modified one-step wet spinning process, Prof. Tao and her research group used good solvents as the coagulation bath to realise the mass production of the UFPFs (Figure 2a). After doping PAni powder (emeraldine base) with camphor sulfonic acid (CSA), they dispersed fully doped PAni into m-cresol as the raw spinning dopes. Significantly, the direct use of doped PAni solutions as the dopes saves the trouble of utilising conventional post-doping procedures, and further permits a uniform charge distribution throughout the fibre length. A good solvent, dimethyl formamide (DMF), of PAni was used as the coagulation bath. A slow solvent exchange between m-cresol and DMF facilitated the formation of PAni gel protofibres with quite a low viscosity that is below 3000 cP. Subsequently, a sharp decrease in the diameter from ~0.1 mm to ~4.7 µm was observed when stretching the gel fibres in the bath (Figures 2b-2e), which is a record small value in the achieved wet-spun CPFs. The ultrafine fibre shows a smooth surface, highly crystallized microstructure, and uniform electrical properties. Moreover, such an impressive drawing ratio enables a very high production efficiency of UFPFs beyond 40 metres per minute. For example, they prepared a 5.4-kilometre-long UFPF in two hours (Figure 2f). The sharp necking behaviours of the gel protofibres are highly related to the use of good solvents as the coagulation bath. Prof. Tao and her research team recorded the changes in the surface morphology of the PAni fibres collected from different solvating species. As shown in Figure 3a, the obtained fibres in poor solvating species, i.e., water, ethanol, ethyl acetate (EA), and acetone, generally show a coarse surface and large diameter of around 20 µm. By comparison, a necking phenomenon in both cases of good solvents can be clearly observed; i.e., N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) and DMF. Such necking effects promote the ultrafine morphology of the resultant fibres, which contributes to the higher degree of orientation and crystallisation of the PAni fibres, and a better structure and performance stability. The UFPFs show an impressive mechanical performance and energy storage ability. Derived from the strain-stress curves, the UFPFs have a modulus of 29.89±5.6 GPa, and a strength of 1080±71 MPa, which is at least one order of magnitude higher than that of CPFs with larger diameters (Figure 3b). Prof. Tao and her team used polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)-H3PO4 gel electrolyte and two UFPF electrodes to construct a micro capacitor to evaluate the electrochemical activity of the UFPFs. The area capacitance is between 1008 and 1666 mF cm-2 at current densities between 0.32 and 3.18 mA cm-2, thus outperforming previously reported thick CPFs and other electrodes, and approaching that of PAni nanowires. Benefitting from the favourable energy and charge storage performance of the UFPFs, Prof. Tao and her team realised a high-performance all-solid organic electrochemical transistor (OECT, Figure 4a), which is very soft, and shows favourable amplification performance with a high on-off current ratio (>103) at low voltages (Figure 4c).The function of the all-solid OECT is to respond to mechanical deformation as a tactile sensor (Figures 4d-4k).  

6 May, 2022

Research & Innovation

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