Rebecca Van Amber

Dr Rebecca Van Amber

Senior Lecturer

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Black and white photo of Rebecca Van Amber against a city landscape and a river behind her. She is smiling and looking over shoulder towards the river.

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Black and white photo of Rebecca Van Amber against a city landscape and a river behind her. She is smiling and looking over shoulder towards the river.

Contact details

Programs

More information

How does someone reconcile their both love of fashion and the planet? Striving to make the fashion industry less harmful through teaching, research and engagement.

Overview

Dr. Van Amber is passionate about textile and apparel sustainability, research and development, and designing test methods and experiments for textiles and apparel with specific properties and end uses (e.g. human health, sports, and the outdoors), as well as wear trials involving human participants. Dr. Van Amber was a winner of the 2017 H & M Foundation's Global Change award's innovation challenge as a member of Deakin University’s “Denim Dyed Denim” team, which aimed to tackle textile waste through creating coloured powder from old jeans. This powder was then used as a pigment to print and colour new fabrics.

Dr. Van Amber is currently a Senior Lecturer in the school of Fashion and Textiles at RMIT University where she has been developing and then subsequently launched a new undergraduate degree, the Bachelor of Fashion and Textiles (Sustainable Innovation). The aim of this degree is to prepare graduates for emerging jobs within the Fashion and Textiles industry as this critical juncture of climate change, textile waste and a prevalence of unethical and unsustainable practices.

This new degree sits within the intersection of technology, design, art and science and is underpinned by critical thinking and communication skills.

Dr. Van Amber undertook her Phd and Masters of Consumer and Applied Sciences in Dunedin, New Zealand at the University of Otago in Clothing and Textile Sciences, with six of those years spent researching properties of socks and sock fabrics.

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Industry experience

Dr. Van Amber has over 7 years of experience working in the fashion industry in both the United States and New Zealand, as a technical designer and operations manager, respectively.

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Research

Dr. Van Amber's expertise lies in material properties and sustainability. Currently her research is focused on a better understanding of materials and methods which can be translated to the fashion industry. The aim is to help transition the fashion industry to one which does less harm to animals, people and the planet.

Research keywords

Textiles, Sustainability, Fashion, Socks, Wool, Fabrics

Research output summary

13

Publications

1

Awards

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Supervisor interest areas

  • Textile testing
  • Material properties
  • Sustainable fashion
  • Technical/functional textiles
  • New materials
  • Sustainable materials

Supervisor projects

Current PhD Supervisions

  • Rute Chaves Carneiro Ribeiro: Is waste waste?
  • Yasaman Samie: Understanding textile waste in metropolitan Melbourne
  • Rashmita Bardalai: Textile materials: Tactility and emotions
  • Sutapa Chowdhury: Circular economy in Bangladesh
  • Julia English: Sustainable fashion: Collaboration and re-make

Feature publications

The effect of fiber type, yarn structure and fabric structure on the frictional characteristics of sock fabrics

Textile Research Journal, 85(2), 115-127

Van Amber, R. R., Lowe, B. J., Niven, B. E., Laing, R. M., Wilson, C. A., & Collie, S. (2014).

Coloured powder from coloured textile waste for fabric printing application

Cellulose, 28(2), 1179-1189

Gan, L., Xiao, Z., Zhang, J., Van Amber, R., Hurren, C., Xu, W., ... & Wang, X. (2021).

Effect of sock type on foot health

Textile Research Journal, 89(18), 3871-3881

Van Amber, R., Laing, R. M., Wilson, C. A., Dunn, L. A., & Jowett, T. (2019). 

Key publications by year

  • Gan, L., Xiao, Z., Zhang, J., Van Amber, R., Hurren, C., Xu, W., ... & Wang, X. (2021). Coloured powder from coloured textile waste for fabric printing application. Cellulose, 28(2), 1179-1189.
  • Van Amber, R., Laing, R. M., Wilson, C. A., Dunn, L. A., & Jowett, T. (2019). Effect of sock type on foot health. Textile Research Journal, 89(18), 3871-3881.
  • Farajikhah, Syamak, Rebecca R. Van Amber, Sepidar Sayyar, Sajjad Shafei, Cormac D. Fay, Stephen Beirne, Mohammad Javadi, Xungai Wang, Peter C. Innis, Brett Paull, and Gordan Wallace (2018). Processable thermally conductive polyurethane composite fibers. Macromolecular Materials and Engineering, 1800542.
  • Van Amber, Rebecca R., Rangam Rajkhowa, Rechana Remadevi, Dilip Barooah and Maryam Naebe (2018). Understanding morphology, next to skin comfort, and change of properties during washing of knitted blends of eri silk. Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management, 10 (4).
  • Van Amber, R. R., Wilson, C. A., Laing, R. M., Lowe, B. J., & Niven, B. E. (2015). Thermal and moisture transfer properties of sock fabrics differing in fiber type, yarn, and fabric structure. Textile Research Journal, 85(12), 1269-1280.
  • Van Amber, R. R., Lowe, B. J., Niven, B. E., Laing, R. M., & Wilson, C. A. (2014). Sock fabrics: Relevance of fiber type, yarn, fabric structure and moisture on cyclic compression. Textile Research Journal, 85(1), 26-35.
  • Van Amber, R. R., Lowe, B. J., Niven, B. E., Laing, R. M., Wilson, C. A., & Collie, S. (2014). The effect of fiber type, yarn structure and fabric structure on the frictional characteristics of sock fabrics. Textile Research Journal, 85(2), 115-127.
  • Van Amber, R., Laing, R., Wilson, C., Lowe, B., & Niven, B. (2013). Sock fabrics: Measuring friction to prevent blisters. In J. D. Cotter, S. J. E. Lucas, & T. Mündel (Eds.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics (ICEE), (pp. 245). International Society for Environmental Ergonomics.
  • Van Amber, R., Laing, R., Wilson, C., Lowe, B., & Niven, B. (2013). Sock fabrics: Measuring the coefficient of static and dynamic friction to prevent blisters. Proceedings of the Fiber Society Spring Technical Conference Retrieved from http://www.thefibersociety.org/httpdocs/Assets/Past_Meetings/BooksOfAbstracts/2013_Spr_Abstracts.pdf
  • Van Amber, R. R., Wilson, C. A., & Laing, R. M. (2011). Socks: Developing methods to measure properties critical to the end user group. In L. A. Dunn, C. D. Thomson, & C. A. Wilson (Eds.), Proceedings of the Consumer and Applied Sciences Centenary Conference: Bringing it Home: Remembering the past and feeding the future, (pp. 42). Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago.
  • Van Amber, R. R., Niven, B. E., & Wilson, C. A. (2010). Effects of laundering and water temperature on the properties of silk and silk-blend knitted fabrics. Textile Research Journal, 80(15), 1557-1568. doi: 10.1177/0040517510366019
  • Van Amber, R. R., Koshiba, T., & Wilson, C. A. (2009). Specialty protein fibres in the New Zealand outdoor apparel market. In C. A. Wilson & R. M. Laing (Eds.), Proceedings of the Combined (NZ and AUS) Conference of The Textile Institute: Natural Fibres in Australasia: Book of abstracts, (pp. 21). Dunedin, New Zealand: The Textile Institute (NZ).
  • Van Amber, R. R., Koshiba, T., & Wilson, C. A. (2009). Specialty protein fibres in the New Zealand outdoor apparel market. In C. A. Wilson & R. M. Laing (Eds.), Proceedings of the Combined (NZ and AUS) Conference of The Textile Institute: Natural Fibres in Australasia [CD-ROM], (pp. 49-54). Dunedin, New Zealand: The Textile Institute (NZ).
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Awards

H & M Foundation Global Change Award (Innovation Challenge 2017)

Award date: 2017

Recipients: Rebecca van Amber


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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.