From July 24 to 31, 2018, the short-term program on textiles, “KIT Fiber and Textile Summer School 2018”, was held by the KIT Center for Fiber and Textile Science. Utilizing the international network of KIT, which has tradition in textile research, a total of 27 students from 9 universities participated, including Donghua University (China), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong), Yeungnam University (Korea), Gyongnam National University of Science and Technology (Korea), National University of Singapore (Singapore), The University of Malaya (Malaysia), October University MSA (Egypt), National Taiwan University of Science & Technology (Taiwan) and ESEIAAT of Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (Spain).
It was the third time that the program took place and in addition to lectures and laboratory tours by KIT faculty members of Fiber Science and Engineering, this year a “1-day Lab Experience” was held, where the students, divided into groups, visited several laboratories and conducted experiments for a whole day. The participants, with the help of the Japanese students, had the opportunity to conduct experiments and experience a wide range of fields of the fiber research that KIT boasts. Furthermore, the students visited Kawashima Selcon Textiles Co., Ltd., TOYOBO Co., Ltd. and Wacoal Holdings Corp., where they were able to observe the manufacturing process of drop curtains, learn about the textile industry’s history and development and the uncompromising customer-focused product development and MONOZUKURI attitude of Japanese companies. Moreover, during the weekend, the students had the opportunity to learn and experience the Kyoto Shibori dyeing and the Furoshiki wrapping, learning about the culture and spread of the textile industry in Kyoto.
On the final day, each student presented the results of their 1-day lab experience as well as their ideas on how to reflect Japan’s textile expertise in their home countries. Based on the content of the program, various ideas were presented, reflecting the circumstances of each country, such as mitigating environmental problems or revitalizing the traditional textile industry.
The entire program was highly evaluated by the students and as many of them commented: “I learned not only about textiles but also about Japanese culture and Japanese people”; “I was able to interact with students from diverse nationalities, studying in the same field and I would like to continue this relationship”; “In the future, I would like to study in Kyoto, deepen my knowledge in textiles and use it in my country”.
This program is expected to lead to even more active collaboration and student exchange with the partner universities.