The word "Textiles" is used to describe any product made from a fabric, whether it is woven, knitted or bonded. Textiles play an important part in our lives; in today’s society there are many different textiles used in a variety of ways, each performing in a particular way, from fire resistant “Nomex” clothing to “Sanitised” antimicrobial socks made from bamboo and silver Nanotechnology!

Textile Technology is one of the subjects in the Technology rotations. In Textile Technology, students explore the range of textiles available, analyse design briefs and then use their knowledge and skills to design and make a product.

Set out below are summaries of the “Textile Experience” for each year group. 

Year 6

Pupils learn about the importance of Sustainability in Textiles considering the implications for their own clothing choices in the future. Using an odd sock, they design and make a sock puppet which makes use of repurposed materials. Hand-sewing skills are taught with applications for life including sewing on buttons and mending. Pupils will also learn about clothing care including knowing how to wash and look after their clothes. 

Year 7


Pupils learn how to use a sewing machine and receive an introduction to using disperse dyes and a heat press to create custom designs directly onto fabric. A chosen design is then appliquéd onto a kite the students have made out of ‘Ripstop Nylon’. The History of Kites is explored by discussing how and where kites have been used throughout history. Pupils also learn about the importance of Sustainability in Textiles by creating a brochure about the issues surrounding a variety of topics based on the 6R’s as an extended homework project which is designed to enhance their ICT and time management skills along with developing their understanding of independent learning.

Weather permitting, the students then test their kites by flying them on the school field.

Year 8


Pupils learn about the 6R’s of sustainability and spend some time discussing fabrics and how they are selected for their intended purpose. They also learn about the use of collage in both traditional and digital form to create imagery which can be transferred onto fabric using sublimation printing and a heat press. From this they then go on to design and create their own individualized masks using the heat press to add their final design which has been printed from their digital image.

As part of the project pupils will be asked to gather suitable materials based on the information discussed in class to allow them to be repurposed as opposed to being sent to landfill. They will also learn about how to create a pattern and edit this based on the individual measurements for a user to create bespoke items. They will also recap the use of the sewing machine and develop their skills further before assembling their final products.

Year 9


In this course, students continue to develop the skills and knowledge acquired during their time in the lower school. Various workshop tasks enable them to explore different techniques for developing, presenting and manufacturing ideas. ICT, sketching and modelling are used to explore designs before realising them in practical sessions.

The pupils will work on two main projects:

  1. Electronic Drawstring bag – This is a typical drawstring bag but with a twist! Sewable electronics are used to enhance the bag and make it suitable for people who are exercising in low levels of light to improve their visibility to vehicles etc. As part of this pupils will learn about smart materials and technical textiles along with electronics and Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture (CAD/CAM). They will use the laser cutter to create pieces of their decoration along with other appropriate techniques.
  2. Pop Art/Art Deco inspired cushion cover – In this project the pupils are imagining that they are creating a product which would be sold in the shop of an art gallery. They are tasked with creating a 9 panel cushion cover using a range of surface decoration techniques to create the panels individually before assembling them to create their final overall design. As psrt of this project they learn about a wide range of decorative techniques including (but not limited to) Disperse dyeing, Fabric pens/paints, Embroidery (Traditional and CNC), Cross Stitch, Batik and Appliqué. Pupils are encouraged to use as many techniques as possible and consider how to combine them to effectively communicate their designs based on their chosen art style.

At the end of the year pupils will also sit a written examination based on a range of topics which complement the GCSE Design Technology course.