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TEXTILES

A LEVEL

Add texture to your career with an A level in Textiles...

Once known as Cottonpolis – for the role it played in the finished cotton trade. 

Manchester, was naturally blessed with soft water for washing and bleaching, a coalfield to fire steam engines, salt for developing chemicals, and easy access to the west coast for importing raw materials and exporting the finished product.

If you have a real passion for sewing, and finding inspiration in all kinds of places, you will thrive on this course.

We’ve worked with a wide range of influential artists, and exhibition spaces including Whitworth Art Gallery, Platt Hall Costume Museum, and Manchester Art Gallery. 

We can also support you to secure a work placement in the city, and you might get the chance to have your work showcased through high-profile events and initiatives.

Student trips have included the Knitting & Stitching Show, Clothes Show, and Alexander McQueen at The V&A. Oh, and we should probably mention we also head out to New York City every year.

It’s your commitment that will be needed to drive and produce lots of independent work. 

There’s a lot of ground to cover on this course. You’ll need to have plenty of energy and enthusiasm to stay the pace. We work fast, and dream big. Confidence to experiment and explain/discuss your ideas is crucial.

But the rewards are incredible. You’ll be developing a fantastic and extensive body of work that will put you a strong position to apply to university.

Projects are loosely-themed to give you lots of creative scope to experiment and find the outer reaches of your imagination. 

You’ll cut your teeth on Illustrative Textiles and Abstract Art. Learn from some of the most creative minds from the world of textiles. And we’ll set you loose on the kind of machines you’ll use throughout your career as a textile designer.

We can’t wait to add your inspirational work to our Xav Pinterest account. Go check it out today for a taste of what you’ll be doing while here at Xaverian College.

LESSON TIME!

Embroidery plays a big part in your Textiles studies, and tutor Emma’s going to take you through the basics to create some eye-catching designs.

You’ll start the course with illustrative textiles – drawing with stitch.

Today we’ll be looking at how you can communicate a message through embroidery.

Think of an image you wish to embroider based on a theme or issue that inspires you – it could be anything, from festivals and body positivity to Black Lives Matter.

We’ll start off by drawing round a stencil on to fabric using a friction pen and some carbon paper. Then we’ll stitch on top. We’ll start embroidering using a running stitch to make a regular pattern, making sure the stitch and space between are the same size. And then we’ll use a back stitch to create a solid line.

This is a wonderful lesson giving you a sense of the course but also insights into the creative value of using a variety of embroidery techniques – including couching, and creating a two-tone effect by threading twice through the eye of a needle.

Finally we work with patterned fabrics and Bondaweb – double-sided iron-on adhesive to create dazzling embroidery.

If you can draw something on to fabric, stitch over it, get creative with threads and start sewing, then you can make a striking piece of work that sets your Textiles portfolio apart at interview for your job or higher education course.

Play Video

What’s next?

Accordion Content

Xaverian’s Textiles students have later assumed roles in:

  • Fashion design
  • Fashion textiles
  • Costume design
  • Digital textiles
  • Printed textiles
  • Domestic textiles (such as wallpaper)
  • Interior design
  • Constructed textiles
  • Art textiles

Textiles is an intensive A-level. As such it’s generally studied by those who are intently devoted to a degree and career associated with the subject.

Your next steps in higher education related to Textiles might be fashion design, marketing, promotion, styling or illustration.

Portfolio Component: 

You work and develop ideas using a range of processes, skills and techniques through three projects: Abstract Art, Surface Pattern and Illustrative Textiles.

Personal Investigation: 

You will develop a practical project which will be supported by a written element of 1000-3000 words.

Externally Set Assignment: 

You will have approximately eight weeks to produce prep work and at the end of this you will produce a final piece of work in 15 hours of unaided, supervised time.

 
Entry requirements:

Six good passes at GCSE including two at grade 6 or above

Course specific entry requirements:

Grade 5 from Art or Textiles. Merit or above if BTEC*

If you haven’t taken an Art GCSE then you’ll need to put together a portfolio, which will be reviewed by a teacher. 

Course duration:

2 years

Assessment methods:

1 exam project
1 coursework project

Course type:

Linear A-level

Exam board:

AQA

You will be introduced to a wide range of textile-based techniques and processes including knitting, hand embroidery, felting, applique, dying, machine embroidery, embellishing, printing, weaving, weaving, polyfusion, slashing and heat distressing. This is done through demonstrations, discussions and personal exploration by gathering inspiration from primary and secondary sources as well as looking at the work of other artists. Using these and elements of textile design such as line, scale, colour, texture, pattern, repeat and tone you will record your ideas and evidence in a sketchbook or folder. You will establish a textile vocabulary and use specialist terminology to articulate and review your ideas. Projects involve interpreting your inspiration by imaginatively combining techniques and materials to produce samples and outcomes.

I love being at Xaverian because of the friendly environment and how welcoming the staff are. The teachers are always ready to help, and they always make lessons engaging and interesting, as well as give you lots of information about going to university and choosing a career.

Megan Chilton, Textiles A Level student

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