Textiles at the Senior School
This academic year, the Textiles department has continued to explore creative studies through various techniques, materials and processes in each year group. The new embroidery machine in Room 24 that was purchased with the generous donations of the Circle of Friends and our former student, Alice Powell’s parents, has particularly enabled students to create astonishing computer embroidery work.
In Year 7, girls have explored the technological advantages that the computerised sewing machines, as well as embroidery machines, provide when decorating fabric. They have designed and made stars on mylar, and explored the uses of ordinary sewing machines to produce a variety of stitches on samples and lavender bags.
Girls in Year 8 have explored the colourful world of tie and dye techniques across the world and produced their own experiments with summer shorts. The freedom of selecting colours and patterns for their designs resulted in a unique and colourful display of wearable shorts that girls would proudly use at home and on holiday.
The theme for Year 9 girls’ project this year was ‘Surface Pattern’, inspired by the intricate and colourful patterns found in African textiles. Girls took inspiration from various sources, and developed printed pattern repeats for the material that they then used for their skirts following the commercial pattern. The originality of the patterns the girls created were beautiful and executed with good skill and accuracy. The skirts are all original and imaginative, as we encouraged the girls to express themselves freely within the given design frame.
Textile Design GCSE
GCSE students have focused on their ‘personal investigation’ this year and produced inspirational and highly creative textile pieces and sketchbook work. Year 10 girls created unique neckpieces inspired by textile artists such as Jeanette Appleton, Kim Thittichai and Lindsay Taylor. A trip to Mary Quant’s exhibition at the V&A in September also prompted the girls to generate colourful patterns and images on fabric using various printing techniques, such as ink transfer and block printing.
Year 11 girls have been busy with their controlled assessment project. The common theme of ‘playing with colour’ has prompted a wide variety of multicoloured and original responses from our students. The outcomes demonstrate our students’ splendid creativity and their high level of skill through the combination of materials, techniques and processes applied onto a variety of textile items such as dresses, skirts, shirts, trousers and jackets. ‘Carnivals’, ‘roses’, ‘dawns and sunsets’ and ‘neon’ are just a few sources of inspiration that the girls used to spark their creativity to produce colourful and playful responses.
Textile Design A Level
Year 12 students started off their year with a ‘mock project’ inspired by theme of ‘natural forms’. To build on their existing skills, they learnt how to use a wide range of basic and extended textile techniques such as dyeing, printing, applique and embroidery, including computerised embroidery, to apply on fabric and other materials. Girls’ creative experiments led to original and new ideas that were linked with the work of other well-known and inspiring textile artists and designers. This creative exploration lead to a cohesive collection of corset designs, of which girls made one as a prototype.
This year the Upper Sixth Textile students have focused on their personal investigation exam work. The themes were chosen by the students, and included titles such as ‘Fantasy and Fairy tales’, ‘Figurines’, ‘Paradise’, ‘African Fashion’ and ‘Love’. All of the titles enabled the girls to express their personal insight and experience in an area that they felt was their own. The chosen creative path took each girl on an exciting experimental journey that resulted in extraordinary and highly sophisticated textile pieces, including samples and final outcomes, with a culmination of extensive contextual studies. These included extremely intricate and time-consuming hand embroidery details, beading, couching and colourful dyeing and marbling pieces. Some girls let materials lead the way, and they came up with some new and innovative ways to apply pattern, colour and texture on fabric, such as printing with fruit nettings and mesh. Overall, the quality of the final textile and fashion pieces was outstanding and showcased the girls’ originality, creativity and imagination.
A Level Textile Design
*pictures of sketchbook work and final outcomes / details of embroidery work / Lucy / Honor / Grace
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