If you enjoy the challenges posed by manipulating fabrics, exploring textures, experimenting with exciting techniques, and love designing textiles, fashion and interiors, then A Level Textiles may just be the right subject for you. The course is extremely varied, covering all aspects of the subject from exploring the working characteristics and physical properties of fibres and fabrics, designing and making for realistic situations, to the study of fashion trends and textiles since 1900. A Level Textiles offers all sorts of opportunities to students as it has such a broad but exciting specification.
AS Unit 1:
Materials and Components. This part of the subject covers all aspects of fibres and fabrics, their properties, uses and application to products. It is assessed by a 2 hour written paper.
AS Unit 2: Learning Through Designing and Making. A coursework project taking approximately 50 hours. The project consists of an A3 portfolio and the accompanying practical textile outcome(s). Generally the design brief is given to students. However, it is sufficiently broad to enable all students to follow their own particular interest in Textiles.
A2 Unit 1:
Design and Manufacture. A very wide range of Textiles related subject matter is covered here from fibre technology to history of costume. The unit is assessed by a two hour synoptic paper.
A2 Unit 2: Design and Making Practice. An individual coursework project including the A3 portfolio and final textile outcome. The brief is generally written by students themselves to give maximum freedom and personalise the learning. This should take approximately 60 hours.
It is helpful, but certainly not essential for students to have studied GCSE Textiles. Students will be considered for the course if they have the necessary interest, enthusiasm and interest to study an exciting and creative subject. If they have studied GCSE Textiles or a similar Design / Art subject, it is advisable to have achieved a grade B or above. For those students wishing to study A Level textiles and who have not taken the subject at GCSE it is recommended that the student should have an informal discussion with the subject teacher first.
AS to A2 progression:
In order to progress to A2 Textiles entry requirements are at least a grade D at AS Textiles and where this is not the case students will need to re-sit AS modules alongside the A2 course
Expectations: Students would be expected to take responsibility for their learning to enable them to develop a full understanding and appreciation of Textiles. Extensive reading of subject related material is to be recommended. This might include articles concerning fashion or textile designers, extracts from novels to give context to the history of fashion etc.
Sixth form students are encouraged to use the resources available whenever possible and have almost unlimited access to the Textiles Room and the facilities there. It is expected that students would complete a Summer task prior to starting the AS course in September.
Extra-Curricular Activities/Independent Learning Opportunities:
Students are encouraged to join in with Creative Arts Faculty visits to Galleries and Exhibitions whenever possible.
Textiles can open up all sorts of career opportunities for students.
These include: Fashion Buying and Marketing, Fashion and Textiles Design, Foundation Garment Design, Textile Technologist, creating new specialist fabrics and finishes, medical textiles, costume design for the theatre and television, geo and agricultural textiles e.g. flood defence systems, engineering applications, discovering new sustainable fibres, millinery, to name but a few options.
Good combinations of other subject to study with Textiles are:
Art, English, History, Chemistry, Business Studies.
“Studying a creative subject has enabled me to use my initiative and helped me to work independently. The knowledge and skills I have learnt are also really useful in my other subjects too.”
“I love Textiles because I find it so enjoyable as a subject. It gives me the opportunity to be creative and expressive through illustrative and practical work.”
“I really love Textiles because it’s such a fun, practical subject. It allows me to be creative and expressive through designing and making products, giving me the opportunity to develop my skills whilst working on my own or as part of a group.”
“I came into A Level Textiles without a GCSE course, but I was provided with lots of help and guidance to catch up. I love the creative side to the course which pushes me to be innovative and develop my skills.”