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Textile Design A Level at Aquinas College

Course description

Do you want to study a subject that is highly relevant in today’s society? Do you love textiles? From clothes to accessories, to interior design, is there something about the look and feel of textiles that appeals to you? Maybe, you’ve considered a career in textiles? Perhaps as a Textile Designer, seeing your unique designs manufactured into fabric, or maybe as an Interior Designer or Fashion Designer.

The study of textiles is exciting and challenging. The course combines effectively with other subject areas and enables students to apply for a range of degree subjects. There will be opportunities to specialise in this wide ranging subject area, and you will have the chance to produce outcomes in an area that interests you.

We study cutting-edge designers and organise trips to see current exhibitions at the UK’s most exciting galleries. Whenever possible we try to get involved in a live brief that enables students to get a feel for working in the industry. In the past we have created garments and produced a successful fashion show.

You will be taught by enthusiastic and supportive members of staff that have many years experience in contemporary fashion and surface design. We actively encourage studying current trends in fashion and textiles, examining contemporary practitioners, and produce creative and experimental garments and textiles.

Our students enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to have the freedom to experiment, develop their skills as a designer, and explore options in many different media using conventional and unconventional processes. You will learn how to gather imagery to inspire you to create textile work or garments. Through the critical analysis of the work of textile artists and designers you will be introduced to a range of skills and concepts to broaden your vocabulary and knowledge.

You will be taught many textile processes from the ‘basics’ to the ‘advanced’. Learning is encouraged through set projects and experimental workshop sessions in the studio. Students are encouraged to develop the ability to work independently, gathering relevant research material and extending practical work in the textile studio. Students have the opportunity to work in the following areas of textile design:

  • 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

Key Features

  • Textile Design is an innovative course that uses new technology and encourages you to work creatively with a range of materials and techniques.
  • The course allows you to experience what it is like to work on real life fashion design projects developing and manufacturing products using a range of techniques including pattern cutting and garment construction techniques.
  • Throughout the course you will take ownership of your project work and learning which will help develop your skills to be an effective artist/designer.
  • You will develop a Portfolio which is invaluable when applying for design courses in Higher Education and for taking to interview.
  • Most importantly Textile Design will give you life skills.

Course content

Over the two-year period, students will study:

  • The basic elements of design including: shape, colour, texture, pattern, harmony, scale, proportion, contrast and repetition
  • The relationship between form and function
  • Design work from different historical periods and cultures
  • Life drawing
  • How to research the contextual work relevant to their coursework theme
  • A variety of textile methods including relief printing, lino printing, screen printing, heat transfer printing, tie-dye, batik, silk painting, dyeing, stencilling, embellishing, stitching, felting, appliqué, patchwork, quilting, weaving, knitting and embroidery
  • Sewing, pattern drafting skills and garment construction techniques.
Year One

During year one you will be learning new textiles and fashion skills and techniques, you will be encouraged to explore pattern and surface texture by experimenting with paper, fabric, threads and mixed media to produce a fashion, textile or interior response to a given theme that is unique and you have taken risks to complete.

Year Two

The projects during year two will develop your abilities further by allowing you to pursue concepts in more depth. You will create a very personal body of work that follows the pathway you are interested in and is supported by a written essay of 1000-3000 words. You are able to choose to create final outcomes in such diverse areas as fashion, fabric design, surface decoration, art textiles, costume design and interior textiles. In the spring term you will complete an externally set project.

Future opportunities

This qualification allows you to demonstrate initiative, a creative enquiring mind, determination, and a sense of responsibility for making decisions and taking action. The experience and skills you gain in designing, pattern cutting and manufacturing are excellent preparation for a career in any aspect of design and manufacturing and are key skills that University Admission tutors are looking for. Successful textile students can pursue careers in Fashion Design, Fashion Illustration, Interior Design, Textile Design, Surface Design, Styling, Shoe Design, and Costume for Theatre & Film, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Retailing and Marketing, Fashion Management and Fashion Buying. It can also lead to entry onto Art Foundation Courses leading to a wide range of creative subjects at degree level. Our past students are now Fashion Designers, Textile Designers, Graphic Designers, Product Designers, and Interior Designers having gone onto University’s such as Central Saint Martin’s to study Fashion, University of Huddersfield to study Textiles, Leeds University to study Textile Design and Interior Design and even now work for companies such as Abbercrombie and Fitch in America as a Fashion Designer and Monsoon as a trainee buyer!

Further information

We offer many visits during the year to enhance your knowledge of designers and industrial knowledge we visit places like The Clothes Show at the NEC, Manchester Museum and Art Gallery, The Whitworth Art Gallery, The Walker Gallery and The Lowry to name a few.  We also offer international visits to various places including Barcelona and London/Paris to give experiences of fashion catwalks and fashion buyers, these visits enable you to view art from other cultures and include visits to major companies and design museums galleries.

During the year we also visit careers events such as the Design Your Future Exhibition for creative students run by UCAS with over 90 Universities in attendance and we visit the end of year degree shows for both Manchester Metropolitan University and Stockport College to support you with applications to both University degrees and for an Art Foundation Course.  Throughout the year Universities visit the subject to give both talks and workshops on related courses.  Local businesses also give a career talks and advice these include various Fashion Designers and Buyers including Ron Hill Performance Sportswear, Interior Designers and Architects Alison Pike Partnerships and Jennings Design Associates.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Aquinas College directly.

Last updated date: 22 September 2017
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