Course overview

If you are interested in a career in the visual arts, especially fashion, textiles or surface pattern design, then this is an ideal course to study. With lots of opportunities for practical, experimental and digital work, this is a very hands-on learning experience. You will need to be creative and open minded, with an interest in the visual arts and a love of colour, pattern and texture in particular.  You will explore a wide range of methods and approaches for designing fabric, from very traditional techniques, to contemporary digital design.

It is possible to study textiles design, alongside other visual arts subjects such as fine art or graphic design. Other subjects which complement this course include history of art, business studies, film studies or chemistry.   

What will I study?

The emphasis of the course is primarily on creating interesting textile surfaces. You will keep a sketchbook of drawings, photography, textile samples and design ideas, which will lead you to designing fabrics for variety of purposes. Drawing underpins the work you will create on the course, and you will be taught how to draw using specific methods suitable for textiles design. Lessons in digital design and research into the work of other designers will also support your development.

You will also explore various methods of surface decoration including printing, dying techniques, stitch, embroidery and embellishment, and fabric manipulation. The fabrics you create may be suitable to become fashion garments or accessories; wall paper, upholstery or other household textiles, such as, wall art, installations or fine art pieces. You could create surface pattern designs for stationery, wrapping paper, greeting cards or book illustrations too. The course is structured to allow you increasing freedom to express and develop the particular ideas and techniques that interest you most, leading to very independent and self- directed study in the second year of the course.

Trips, visits and enrichments

  • An annual trip to London to see the work of this year’s textiles graduates from across the country at the new designers exhibition
  • Visits to other exhibitions may be arranged during the year to see relevant gallery shows, but students are required to see a wide range of exhibitions and galleries independently as part of their studies
  • Students are encouraged to enter local and national competitions. Last year, a student won a live brief set by an external company where her work was chosen to form part of their staff uniform.  Another won a national competition and won tickets to London Fashion Week   

What can it lead to?

Students often go directly to a degree course in a range of disciplines, including fashion design, textiles design, surface pattern design, illustration, fashion marketing, management and business, costume design, or fashion journalism. Students in recent years have gone on to study at institutions such as Central St Martins, Glasgow School of Art, Falmouth and Loughborough. Some choose to go onto study on an art foundation course, prior to pursuing a degree. Currently we have former students working in the design studios for H&M in Stockholm, designing menswear for Top Man, marketing for River Island and working as freelance designers.

Special entry requirements

GCSE grade 5 in art & design – applicants who have not studied art at GCSE may be offered a place on the basis of satisfactory portfolio of artwork

Textiles has been added to My Courses


Next event:

Year 12 consultation evening (o-z) 5.30-8.30 5:30pm on 22nd January 2018

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