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Textile Design in the Senior School and Sixth Form

Textile Design in the Senior School and Sixth Form

The highlight of the year in Textiles has been a new Year 9 Performance Textiles project in which the girls were given a brief to research and design a new kit for the Team GB netball team for the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2021.

The designer inspiration for this project was Stella McCartney who designed looks for 900 British Olympics and Paralympics athletes in 2012 and 2016 Olympic games. The students in the first rotation (September to January) made an excellent start with their thorough investigation, practical testing and creative designing tasks while still at school and they finished their practical outcomes when lockdown was over. 

The online project delivered via Teams also enabled the second rotation students to start their projects smoothly and some even surpassed our expectations through their very creative use of technology for designing and presenting the projects. While some students applied their learnt transfer printing techniques on material, others extended their new practical skills by developing CAD embroidered logos and digitally printed images for their chosen design ideas.

The completed outcomes look amazing and could proudly be worn by Team GB female athletes in the Olympic Games this summer. 

Outstanding work this year included:

  • Cecilia V.-F. who produced a very imaginative design idea for the netball top with flawless use of transfer printing techniques
  • Abigail C. who made excellent use of CAD for designing, presenting and executing ideas using a wide variety of technological equipment such as digital printing, heat press and computerised embroidery
  • Dorothy S. who produced exceptionally executed print work and sewing for a new student (her design is pictured above)
  • Carrie Y. for exceptional practical work
  • Claudia M. for exceptional practical work

View their work in our Olympic Textiles Gallery 

Students across all year groups have shown exceptional resilience over the past year and have made very good progress. They have adapted their studies from contact learning to a remote setting seamlessly during the long nine weeks of our second national lockdown. Girls were interested, engaged and produced work that was, across the cohort, very good.

Girls particularly in older years were able to use a wide range of thinking approaches and to transfer their prior knowledge from previous projects effortlessly to new assignments. Some Sixth Form girls were also motivated by the news on sustainability in the fashion industry during the pandemic and they were able to use this as an inspiration to explore and extend their A Level work into something new and different.  

This year has been the most unpredictable year in my 12 years as a teacher at St Mary’s. The workload has never been so ‘full on’, and this includes not only the students’ workload but that of the entire St Mary’s community. It has been very moving to experience the endless support, kindness and resilience from all members of the school as we navigated between contact learning to hybrid teaching whilst diligently sanitizing desks and equipment and keeping a safe distance from each other to keep things going.
Practical work in Textiles got a brand new dimension when students had to think more resourcefully and sustainably when working on their projects from home. This new experience of an unpredictable future has given me lots of ideas for the new direction of studies in Textiles where less is more, and quality overpowers quantity. 

I wish for us all to keep in mind the inspiring words of Mary Lou Cook: ‘Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and most importantly having fun’. 

Mrs Kakengi

Return to Magnolian 2021