Textile Design

Contact Teacher: Miss M Witherow, Team Leader of Textile Design

Exam Board: AQA


Textiles Design is ideal for students who enjoy a hands-on practical experience such as drawing, designing and physically making their final practical solutions. While some written, critical and analytical skills are also required, the emphasis of the course is on the development and refinement of practical work. Textiles help us decorate our homes and adorn our bodies but also provide essential life skills. When studying Textiles we are able to research the rich cultural history of patterns and fabrics and the strong and steady influences of Artists and Designers onto the subject. Students follow a program that supports them through researching a theme or concept that will then inspire a stage of creative experimentation using a variety of textiles techniques and materials. From there the student will formulate ideas on relating to that theme that are then refined and developed into designs. The final stage of the process is to create a unique and innovative final practical outcome that fully satisfies their objective and is a personal and meaningful response.

Textiles Design Learning Journey

This is a visual representation of how students' knowledge and skills develop through the Textiles Design curriculum.

(click on the image below to view a larger version)

Textiles Learning Journey

Why study Textiles?

Students will be introduced to a variety of experiences that explore a range of textile media, processes and techniques. They will be made aware of both traditional and new media. Students will explore the use of drawing for different purposes, using a variety of methods and media on a variety of scales. Students will explore the potential for the use of colour. Students may use sketchbooks/workbooks/journals to underpin their work where appropriate. Students can explore relevant images, artefacts and resources relating to a range of art, craft and design, from the past and from recent times, including European and non-European examples. This will be integral to the investigating and making processes. Students' responses to these examples must be shown through practical and critical activities that demonstrate their understanding of different styles, genres and traditions.

Students should be aware of the four assessment objectives to be demonstrated in the context of the content and skills presented. They should be aware of the importance of process as well as product.

Course details

Students are required to work in one or more area(s) of textile design, such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas:

  • fashion design
  • fashion textiles
  • costume design
  • digital textiles
  • printed and/or dyed fabric and materials
  • domestic textiles and wallpaper
  • interior design
  • constructed textiles
  • art textiles
  • installed textiles

Skills and Techniques

Students will be expected to demonstrate skills in the context of their chosen area(s) of textile design. Students will be required to demonstrate skills in all of the following:

  • awareness of the elements of textile design, such as shape, line, scale, colour, texture, pattern, contrast and/or repetition in relation to the chosen area(s) of textile design
  • awareness of intended audience or purpose for their chosen area(s) of textile design
  • ability to respond to an issue, concept or idea, working to a brief or answering a need in the chosen area(s) of textile design
  • appreciation of the relationship of form and function and, where applicable, the constraints of working to a brief
  • understanding of a variety of textile methods, such as: fabric printing, mono-printing, relief printing, screen printing and laser printing; tie-dye and batik; spraying and transfer; fabric construction; stitching, appliqué, patchwork, padding, quilting and embroidery

Knowledge and Understanding

Students must show knowledge and understanding of:

  • relevant materials, processes, technologies and resources
  • how ideas, feelings and meanings can be conveyed and interpreted in images and artefacts created in the chosen area(s) of textile design
  • historical and contemporary developments and different styles and genres
  • how images and artefacts relate to social, environmental, cultural and/or ethical contexts, and to the time and place in which they were created
  • continuity and change in different styles, genres and traditions relevant to textile design
  • a working vocabulary and specialist terminology that is relevant to their chosen area(s) of textile design


What is assessed?

  • Personal investigation - Sketch book and practical work (no time limit. 96 marks. 60% of A-Level)
  • Externally set assignment - Preparatory period plus 15 hours supervised time (96 marks. 40% of A-Level)

Entry requirements

You must have a GCSE in Art and Design or Textile Design at grade 6 or above.

Subject requirements

To provide all your own fabrics/patterns, components and folders