Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Design


David Backhouse

Associate Professor; BA Fashion Design Programme Leader

0113 343 3802

Clothworkers Building Central G74a

Office hours: Monday Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm


My specialist subject areas are Fashion Design & Innovation and Portfolio Presentation.

Research interests include: The Yorkshire Fashion Archive and the use of Nonwovens in Apparel.

Deputy Chair of Yorkshire Fashion Archive (YFA).

Executive Member and Trustee Graduate Fashion Week.

Member of the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI).

Member of the Association of Fashion and Textiles Courses (ftc).

External Examiner on a number of Fashion Programmes.

Regular contributor to journals and conferences, both international and national.


David Backhouse graduated from the Royal College of Art, London in 1978 with a Masters Degree in Fashion. He then worked extensively in the fashion industry as a designer both in London and abroad for eight years. David launched his own business in 1986 where he was Company Director. He joined the University of Leeds as Head of Fashion in 2001.

Research Interests

Yorkshire Fashion Archive (YFA)

Researchers: David Backhouse, Claire Watson, Lynne Webster & Elaine Evans.

Based in the fashion area and underpinned by research excellence in textiles at the University of Leeds,  YFA provides a new, publically accessible collection of haute couture and fashion garments of major historical significance reflecting the social and economic changes in the region within the last 100 years.


‘Jonathan Silver: Romantic Capitalist’ Foyer Salts Mill, Saltaire February 2013

‘Wool Re-Fashioned’ Salts Mill, Saltaire Sept-Oct 2012

‘Dress Rehearsal 11’ ULITA, University of Leeds May-June 2012

‘Dress Rehearsal’ Salts Mill, Saltaire April 2011

Apparel in Nonwovens

Research into the use of nonwoven in apparel is an ongoing project undertaken by Undergraduate students and Staff in the Fashion Area, School of Design, University of Leeds, UK under the supervision of David Backhouse MDes RCA Subject Leader and Lynne Webster Senior Teaching Fellow.


‘A Retrospective’. The Dynamics of Progress Seminar, Nonwoven Network UK. July 2012

‘Architectural Colour Clash’. Nonwoven Network UK. Dec 2011

‘Architectural Colour Clash’. In association with Lenzing AG. INDEX11, Palexpo, Geneva. April 2011

‘FASHION: Decoratif’. Nonwoven Network UK. Jan 2011

‘FASHION: Transparency’. Nonwoven Network UK. June 2009

‘FASHION: Transparency’. Yorkshire Fashion Week. June 2009

‘FASHION: Function in Action’. INDEX08 Palexpo, Geneva April 2008

‘FASHION: Function in Action’. 7th Nonwoven Network UK Annual Conference. June 2008

‘Fashion Synergy’. ULITA, University of Leeds.  2007

‘Fashion Synergy’. EDANA Nonwoven Research Academy Conference. 2007


Level Subject
Level 1 Fashion Industry Analysis
Research & Design Development
Level 2 20th Century Fashion
Level 3 Portfolio Design
Fashion Product Concepts
Fashion Collection


Journal articles

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC, Watson C (2012) “Memories & Reminiscences: Yorkshire Fashion Archive”, Dress & Textile Staff in Museums Journal. Spring 2012.

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC (2012) “Colour Splash”, Nonwovens Industry. January 2012

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC (2011) “Sculptural Colourscape”, Perini Journal. September 2011.37

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC (2008) “Fashion: Function in Action”, Nonwovens Industry. December 2008

Conference papers

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC, Watson C (2013) Down Memory Lane: Yorkshire's Heritage Examined. Dress, Textiles & Heritage Workshop

  • Backhouse D, Watson C (2011) Fashion History: The Little Yorkshire Dress. International conference Global Fashion: Creative and Innovative Contexts

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC, Watson C (2011) Memories and Reminiscences: Yorkshire Fashion Archive. Dress & Textile Staff in Museums

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC (2010) Nonwovens: Harnessing New Technology in Fashion Garments. International Conference Global Fashion: Creative and Innovative Contexts

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC (2010) Fashion: A Future in Nonwovens?. 13th Nonwovens Network Conference

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC (2009) Fashion: A Future in Nonwovens?. Association of Fashion & Textiles Courses Conference

  • Backhouse D, Webster LC (2006) Nonwovens for Fashion. 6th Nonwovens Network Conference



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