Emma Grain


BA (Hons) Fashion Design - Senior Lecturer

Emma Grain is a full time Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Fashion Design and the Course Developer of MA Digital Fashion at Leeds Arts University since joining in late 2019.

She studied Fashion Design with Marketing Manufacture and Promotion at Huddersfield University and left with a 1ST degree in 2007 specialising in Menswear. In 2013 Emma started teaching part time at MMU on the Fashion Design Technology course whilst studying for a PGCAP and membership of the FHEA which she gained in 2015. She went on to part time teach and part time study at Huddersfield University for a Mres in ‘An Approach to Develop 3D Printed Textile and Fashion Structures” which she attained in 2017 and is now studying for a PhD in “Digital Design and Fabrication of Functional Textile structures and Components for Fashion”.

Prior to teaching Emma worked as a Menswear Designer for 12 years at first full time, then part time freelance once she began to teach along side.

She designed for many high street menswear brands and retailers and always designed across multi categories from Jersey to denim, outerwear and knit. Her love is in the detail and technical aspects mainly found in outerwear and woven garments in menswear. Her work for Footasylum and Republic took her across the world for both research and development trips from Tokyo, Berlin and Barcelona to Turkey, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Portugal. She gained extensive knowledge of fabric and production processes and has used this in her freelance work to help set up new brands and develop them. In her freelance work she has designed for brands sold in Macy’s New York, for Creative Recreation worn by and renowned footballer Johan Cruyff’s brand Cruyff sold in Flannels. Lastly she worked on the new popular mens and women lifestyle brand Jameson Carter who have ushered in a new digital consumer who are heavily influenced by Instagram and the celebrities that endorse the brand, whilst still maintaining great quality and style.

Her designs have featured in Drapers Record, GQ magazine, Loaded as well and many billboard campaigns nationally.

Emma teaches on all 3 levels of Fashion design and her responsibilities include, module development, assessment and she specialises in CAD, portfolio work, research and design/ product development as well as some of the more contextual modules such as dissertation and theory. Using her up-to-date industry experience and research to feed her teaching, she believes using real life examples from her previous or current design and research experience helps to inform the students and their work effectively. She encourages using multidisciplinary research areas to bring into fashion as well as using both hand and digital skills to create the best out come when it comes to portfolio.

Emma is also a practicing designer, maker and digital innovator in the field of digital design and closed loop 3D printing and theories. She has undertaken research in 3D Printed Fashion, Textile Structures, Hybrid Design, Technical Menswear and Digital Fabrication as well as undertaking research projects with outdoors brands and developing the ‘2 Way Closed Loop Apparel Cycle’ theory for polyester garments and 3D printing.

She has presented and disseminated her research globally from Oxford University, the Tate Britain, Beijing BIFT , Portugal’s University of Lisbon and the Plymouth School of Art.

She is currently working on journal papers for the upcoming year both solo and collaboratively.

Conference Proceedings

Grain, E. (2018) ‘A design driven approach to 3D printing textiles from recycled polyester’, Making Futures.

Grain, E. (2018) ‘An analysis of 3D printed textile structures’. In: Textiles, Identity and Innovation: Proceedings of the 1st International Textile Design Conference. Leiden: Taylor & Francis, pp. 41-49.

Grain, E. (2017) ‘A closed loop model for 3D printing fashion’, Circular Transitions: Proceedings: A Mistra Future Fashion Conference on Textile Design and the Circular Economy, pp. 169-183.

Grain, E. (2016) ‘3D printing fashion with recycled polyester: A sustainable journey’, Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes, pp. 371-380.

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