Cancer patients to benefit from Borders textile creation

Published: 22 Oct 2012 09:300 comments

A BORDERS collaboration has created revolutionary comforting headwear for cancer patients.

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Business brains at the South of Scotland Business Solutions along with academics at Heriot-Watt's Galashiels campus and textiles experts at a Selkirk firm have developed the new Asha range.

So-called smart textiles are added to the stunning designs for comfort as well as aroma-therapeutic benefits to women who have suffer cancer-related hair loss.

The luxurious range, which includes turbans, headscarves and accessories, was launched last week by Selkirk company Murray Hogarth.

Professor Alison Harley, head of Heriot-Watt University's School of Textiles and Design, told the Border Telegraph: "Smart textiles are a fast-developing sector that offers enormous potential within the healthcare industry.

"This collaboration showcases our close work with industry, including many small and medium size textile businesses in Scotland, to help them find ways to add value and grow their business.

"Murray Hogarth is a great example of the ways in which we can help Scottish textile businesses to develop and bring exciting new products to market."

The Asha range offers a various finishes incorporating minute, airtight, hard shell capsules containing a chosen scent.

And when the garment is worn, friction causes the capsules to burst, releasing a subtle fragrance of anything from aloe vera to lavender.

Jim McVee, Business Development Manager at the School of Textiles and Design said: "My brief was to assist Murray Hogarth with the development of a well being garment for women who are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy and which could help with some of the side effects associated with the treatment.

"Fashion Technology at the School developed prototypes and we also recommended that an enhanced finish be added to the fabrics to add further value to the product.

"This would turn an ordinary garment in to one which would offer the customer different solutions to potential side effects of their treatment. We also helped Murray Hogarth to find a manufacturer who could produce the quantities they needed."

The Selkirk-based firm, who have over 50 years experience in textiles, operate from a base at Tweed Mill. And they have vowed to donate some of the sales from the Asha range into Maggie's Cancer Charity.

Maggie's Senior Corporate Fundraising Manager, Gemma Branney, added: "Any kind of work or research, such as that carried out by Heriot-Watt University's School of Textiles and Design, to develop smart textiles to help women with cancer-related hair loss is hugely welcome.

"We are also delighted that Asha are choosing to donate 10 per cent of their sales to Maggie's. At Maggie's we rely on the generosity of the communities surrounding our centres to ensure that we can open our doors to support local people affected by cancer. We would like to thank Asha for raising funds to help us keep our doors open."

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