Subject overview

Textile Design is a versatile practice that involves the creation, selection, manipulation and application of a range of materials such as fibres, yarns and fabrics, and processes such as weaving, knitting, stitching and printing to create designs and products. Textile designers work in multi-disciplinary ways to create ideas, materials and techniques for different applications. Textile designers also play an important role in the world of fashion, theatre, performance and retail.

Students will also understand that Textile Design practitioners may work within a team environment in a large commercial manufacturing company, on a single aspect of the design or making process, or work as freelance practitioners on commissions or self-directed projects. They will need good communication skills in order to liaise with clients and to promote themselves as textiles designers and makers.

Course content

Component 1: Personal Portfolio (60% of the qualification)

This component allows students opportunities to:

  • Develop and explore ideas
  • Research primary and contextual sources
  • Experiment with media, materials, techniques and processes
  • Present personal responses to set themes

Component 2: Externally Set Assignment (worth 40% of the qualification)

There are many skills, techniques, materials, processes and concepts that are essential to all areas of study in Textile Design. Students will develop a practical knowledge and understanding of:

  • The use of formal elements and visual communication through a variety of approaches
  • The use of observational skill to record from sources and communicate ideas
  • Characteristics of materials such as natural and synthetic, functionality, recyclability and sustainability
  • Properties of colour, texture and light
  • The effects and creative potential of combining and manipulating different two-dimensional and three-dimensional materials and media
  • The use of digital and/or non-digital applications

Why choose Textiles?

This course gives you the opportunity to develop your capacity to experiment with materials, techniques and processes, and to appreciate the complex relations between design, materials and manufacture. You will develop a wide range of skills, including working with others, thinking creatively and developing design ideas through experimentation with a wide range of techniques.

Textiles is a course that will offer you challenge and expect you to be an independent worker. Organisation, resilience and using your initiative are vital skills during practical work when creating construction and decorative techniques. This course can lead onto college and university courses, such as Foundation in Art and Design, interior design, and then onto degree courses.