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Architectural Digest Concrete Textiles

Tactility Factory surfaces featured in Middle East Design Magazines

TF surfaces are featured in Harper Bazaar (Middle East) July/August 2015 and in Architectural Digest (Middle East) July 2015.

The TF team were in Dubai over June and will be there again next week for a few days, looking forward to the warmth of welcome and climate (after a somewhat rainy summer in Ireland!).


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Concrete Surfaces

Concrete Surfaces: Tactility Factory’s Speciality

Concrete is a ubiquitous, low-tech material yet with some negative characteristics. It is often perceived as a harsh, unsustainable, ‘inhuman’ material with many technical and structural advantages but little emotional value.

Tactility Factory seeks to confront these issues – because concrete is a globally understood material with multiple applications.

TF seeks to apply textile techniques, technologies and most importantly ‘textile thinking’ to address these social and sustainable concerns and hence expand the potential of concrete by turning this cold, grey, acoustically harsh and unappealing substance to something that is warm, colourful, acoustically soft and appealing.

Concrete Surfaces: Textiles co-form concrete surfaces

It has taken Tactility Factory several years of research and development to identify and refine the correct constituent materials and technologies that can be used to combine textile and concrete manufacturing processes. The key technology of the resultant surfaces exists in the upper few millimetres, where the right concrete mix (varying to suit the textile construction and the pattern) and the textiles (specifically designed, developed and tested by Tactility Factory) come together to ‘co-form’ the concrete surfaces or form, what we call,  ‘Concrete Skins’ – see range of Tactility Factory’s Concrete Surfaces

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Here and Now (update)

TF is one of the 14 NI Companies to be featured in the ‘Hear and Now’ Showcase (See Press Release below for further details) at the The Innovation Centre, NI Science Park, Queens Island, Belfast.

TF were present at today’s launch in the Titanic Pump-House and delighted to meet HRH Prince Andrew and Dame Mary Peter.

Press Release

The Here and Now: Innovation in Northern Ireland
A showcase of how we earn our global living from innovation

‘The Here And Now: Innovation in Northern Ireland’ is an image-based showcase of some of the technological genius that’s happening at this very moment throughout the region.

It proves that when we in Northern Ireland put our minds to it, we can compete with international innovators by accessing a rich tradition of creative curiosity and inventive spirit that lives on to this day.

The Here And Now is a celebration of that genius, as well as a demonstration of how our world class talent is creating wealth and profit on a global scale.

The showcase will be based in the Titanic Pump-House on the Science Park campus, but will have an important digital dimension and travel easily to create widespread awareness of NI’s new industrial vitality. It will raise the profile of key innovations and highlight the progress local companies are making right here and right now in turning research into world-class commercial products and services.

The concept for ‘The Here and Now’ grew from the success of the first Festival of Innovation, run by Northern Ireland Science Park as part of the Annual 25K Awards in September 2012, and to mark the first meeting of the Royal and Irish Academies of Engineering under Presidents Sir John Parker GBE and Anthony Barry.

The Festival concluded with an Exhibition of Innovation by some 25 leading local companies in the medical devices, financial software and advanced manufacturing and engineering sectors. Each showcased their innovative and world-class services and products.

It gave visiting Fellows, academics, government officials and, most importantly of all, students and teachers from NI schools and colleges, an opportunity to see the range of exciting technological developments which are happening in NI.

The Festival of Innovation will become a regular event every September, but the Northern Ireland Science Park Trust recognised the need for an accessible, stand alone and permanent showcase.

“Today is the beginning of our journey, the genesis of an idea,” said Joanne Stuart of NISP Trust. “We want The Here And Now to become part of everybody’s journey, and we are asking for innovative ideas or stories that will make it an engaging and compelling collection of everything that is truly brilliant about the science and technology being developed right here, right now.”
Phase 2 of the project is to develop the digital dimension along with an Education programme for all schools and colleges in NI and to use the showcase to support careers and science education.

Participating Companies

o   Bombardier
o   Andor
o   Seagate
o   HeartSine Technologies
o   Creative Composites
o   Wrightbus
o   Tactility Factory
o   Goprezzo
o   Catagen
o   Citi
o   Kainos
o   Warner Chilcott
o   Pure Marine
o   Schrader Electronics

More at

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The Here and Now

TF is delighted to be invited as one of Northern Ireland’s ‘key companies within the architectural design sector’ to be part of Northern Ireland Science Park’s Museum of the Here and Now

It aims to ‘create awareness and raise the profile of the key Innovations going on in Northern Ireland right here and right now.’  By using ‘a mobile exhibition which can be brought in to various venues, schools etc.    We believe this could be a valuable resource for not only creating awareness but to inspire our school kids showcasing the creativity and innovation that goes on around them.’

It is expected that the Museum of the Here and Now will roll out fully in the months ahead so we look forward to involvement


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Happy 2013

Happy New year to all our blog visitors

We hope 2013 is as good for all our clients and supporters as it will be for TF

..and just in case you want to share in some of TF’s reflections on 2012, visit TF’s facebook page for an image for each month of last year.


Happy New Year!




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A year of publications

TF is featured in Mary Schoeser’s major new work: Textiles: The Art of Mankind which was published last month

(we only received our BEAUTIFUL copies of this AMAZING book this month which explains the timing of the blog)

The book:

“comprises more than 1,000 images that highlight the beauty, subtlety, simplicity or complexity of textiles created around the world. The juxtaposition of historical and contemporary examples highlights the skill and imagination of textile designers throughout history, as well as the remarkable range of achievements.”

It is wonderful to see the work acknowledged across a range of publications in 2012 alone (see earlier blogs- MIX, Materials &Interior Design, FX, Advanced Textiles, Concrete Quarterly). We are really grateful to the authors and journalists who have shown interest and wanted to carry the story of TF further to a wide range of people, from textiles and concrete experts, architects, interior designers, hobbyists and students…

Many thanks for your support and these wonderful publications

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TF linen and velvet ranges given Seal of Approval

We are very pleased to announce that our two of our product ranges: Linen Concrete and Velvet Concrete have been accepted into Material ConneXion’s library of innovative materials.

They were assessed by a jury of creative professionals with materials experience.

Our products will now be displayed in Material ConneXion’s nine locations; New York, Bangkok, Beijing, Cologne, Daegu, Istanbul, Milan, Seoul, and Shanghai, with a corresponding entry in their online database.

In their words:

“Your product has now become part of the world’s largest innovative materials library, accessed by Fortune 500 companies, architects, designers, and more.”

Thanks Material ConneXion for your “Seal of approval” and BIG vote of confidence



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a bucket of rawness

We have had a couple of weeks of re-finding ourselves and our processes through explaining them to others – with full NDAs of course.

Images from the process are interesting, if a bit mystifying.. but then all good things combine a pinch of alchemy with a bucket of rawness.

But it’s good to revisit and look with some clarity at the processes that got us to this point.. whatever this point is…

We have been assured that a typical start-up (not those high-tech / social media/ apps guys but the old fashioned start-ups that make ‘real’ things) takes 6-8 YEARS to turn a corner …. no one tells you this at the start of course. Like having a child – passion may bring it into being but it’s the late nights and early mornings that take it along the journey. And at some point the child simply takes over whatever remnants of personal and social life you ever had… does that sound negative?

We were interviewed recently as part of a research project looking at start-ups – one question took me aback. ‘From where do you receive emotional support?’ ‘Emotional?’ I asked – ‘Are you really sure that’s the word written on the page? Yes,  I was assured, ‘we now understand that as being a key area of support’. I think the interviewer might have regretted opening those flood gates.. there are just some question’s better not asked…

But in the end whether it’s a child or a start-up, it’s what we are here to do- isn’t it? YEAHHH



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Big Elements, Big Textiles

Alongside other things… we are currently moving forward on one of our R&D projects in Tactility Lab

We’ve been working with Craftstone over the last few weeks. They are a local precast manufacturer who make high quality, well finished products using a wide selection of natural sands and aggregates.

We’ve been testing out our technology with them to see how it scales up and fits within their processes and to see whether such large scale elements tie in with TF’s emerging thoughts on thermal mass.

These are photos of the large panels just out of the mold – so there are still a bit ‘green’ – ie they need a few more days to cure and dry out fully.

This work is funded by Creative Industries Innovation Fund and TF

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crystal development

We can’t not show this … a beautiful crystal concrete (varying colours) trial emerging from the workshop this morning – light catching from the surface….. mmmmm…..we want….

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