9.10 am The IVA delegation arrives at Landvetter Airport and begins its annual Royal Technology Mission, which this year includes a two-day tour of companies and organisations working with technology and innovations in the Västra Götaland region. The Swedish School of Textiles takes a picture of His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and President of the Academy Björn O Nilsson; a picture which is then transferred to the workshops of the Swedish School of Textiles and during the course of the day becomes a knitted portrait.
12.05 pm His Majesty the King and the IVA delegation arrives at the Swedish School of Textiles and are received by curious students and, among others, the hosts of the event, Rector Björn Brorström at the University of Borås and Head of School Erik Bresky at the Swedish School of Textiles.
Around 12.10 pm In one of the knitting machines, the portrait of the His Majesty the King began to take shape, which was appreciated by the audience. Knitting one metre takes the machine between six and seven minutes.
12.16 pm In the flat knitting machine textile blood vessels are knitted, which have been developed in a collaboration between researchers and Smart Textiles, which is a research initiative at the University of Borås aiming to initiate collaborative projects between researchers and companies. Head of School Erik Bresky at the Swedish School of Textiles takes this opportunity to present another innovative area of development in the textile field: producing textiles from cellulose. Although this technique is far from novel, it has come to attract a lot of attention as the demand for textiles increase while at the same time cotton production takes its toll on the ecosystem.
12.20 pm His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and the IVA delegation stops by the halls where the Fashion Design students work and listen to a short presentation of the process of printing and dyeing textiles.
12.45 pm The delegation leaves the Textile Showroom, a knowledge advancing room at the Swedish School of Textiles where textile innovations are collected and exhibited. Here, researcher Anja Lund held a brief presentation on how to use piezoelectric effects in fibres to monitor vital signs such as heart rate and breathing. The Borås-based company TST presented their protective suits, which have been developed in collaboration with Smart Textiles and capable of withstanding water jets up to 3000 bar.
12.47 pm The delegation arrives at Lutgränd (Lye Alley) in at the Textile Fashion Center, where Kjell Berggren and Hanna Lassing from real-estate company Kanico gives a short history of the building and the textile heritage of this former artificial silk factory. Here, lye was transported into the factory.
12.52 pm Lunch at the restaurant at the Textile Fashion Center, which was open to the public like any ordinary day. One of the long tables had been reserved for the IVA delegation. During lunch, His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf was presented with the knitted portrait.
President of the Academy Björn O Nilsson expressed his gratitude for what he called an inspiring visit:
“This is a very creative environment. In the context of innovation, smart specialisation is often mentioned and the work done here is a good example of this.
1.39 pm The visit draws to a close. The delegation continues their tour and the next stop was Krokslätts Fabriker and Mölndal.
Photo: Rebecca Lindholm and Emma Engström