January 2019 – December 2020
Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council

Principal Investigator: Dr Emma Shercliff (Arts University Bournemouth)
Co-Investigator: Dr Amy Twigger Holroyd (Nottingham Trent University)

Major outputs: Special Issue of Journal of Arts & Communities, Part 1 (including editorial introduction)
The Stitching Together project aims to develop improved critical understandings of participatory textile making as an emerging methodological approach to research by creating a sustainable network of researchers, project commissioners, professional textile practitioners and enthusiast maker groups. It will establish critical dialogue around participatory textile making methods, collate examples of best practice and argue for their value in research. The network will disseminate this knowledge to academic and non-academic audiences and prompt new participatory research initiatives.

The familiarity of textile making processes such as sewing and knitting means these activities are accessible to participants and researchers in varied contexts across a range of disciplines, from clinical medicine and occupational therapy to community building and sustainable development. Researchers using participatory textile making activities are gaining rich insights into questions of artistic, scientific, social, material and cultural value. The associated practical, ethical and conceptual challenges are encountered in research and non-research contexts, indicating scope for knowledge exchange to enhance impact and promote good research practices.

In summary, the network will explore three research questions:
  • How is participatory textile making being used as a new methodological approach to research?
  • What issues does this raise for the validity and effectiveness of the research?
  • How do participatory textile making projects engage and impact participants?

Further details are available on the Stitching Together website.