Crochet workshop at Actuation Lab

As part of the R&D work we undertake at the National Composite Centre, we are used to working with fibres as a reinforcement method in composite materials. These fibres are intertwined by fancy machines before we receive them but recently, we decided to give it a go ourselves – how hard can it be?

Well, it just so happens that our administrator, Gaëlle Henriet, is an experienced crochet tutor, and the very person we called on to answer this question. Team building commenced.

On the day, everyone, including our Chair Steve Kitson, happily got stuck in building up on pre-started samples made of super chunky cotton yarn. The results were, shall we say… mixed. Some crochet squares looked pretty good, while some others… well it probably would have been easier to untangle string theory.

Gaëlle teaching Matt how to crochet

Matt proudly showing his crochet work


Regardless of the appearance of the final pieces, everyone had a lot of fun with experiencing how stitches were built and interconnected, and how the underlying structure allowed the fabric to be manipulated into complex shapes. Who knows, perhaps crochet is the answer to some of our composite industry’s biggest challenges? Watch this space…

Thanks Gaëlle for your patience (!) and keep an eye on our page for more updates on the next big thing in the world of composites.

Steve, Simon & Tom learning how to crochet