Design Technology – Fibres and Textiles GCSE

Design Technology – Fibres and Textiles GCSE

Study a wide range of media, techniques and processes, in both traditional and new technologies including computerised embroidery and digital printing. Enjoy creating your own designs, informed by a deeper understanding textiles and the different functions and roles of textile design.

Why St Mary's

Explore this creative subject, inspired by subject-specialist teachers, who are passionate about design. Design Technology encompasses a very broad range of materials, techniques and processes, including recyclable materials and a growing number of interdisciplinary approaches. The range is increasing as new materials and technologies emerge, for example, in the field of ‘intelligent textiles’.

You will also research contemporary practice, with opportunities to explore practitioners working in occupations such as a textile designer, textile buyer, fashion designer, fashion forecaster, knitwear designer, milliner, costume designer, fashion illustrator, pattern-cutter and more.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

  • Visiting speakers (recent examples include: Sophia Malig, Teaching Fellow in Fashion Design, Winchester School of Art, designers and crafts people)
  • Local and national museum visits, including the V&A Museum
  • Daily lunchtime clubs and workshops
  • After-school textiles club twice a week

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Course overview

This course introduces students to a variety of experiences exploring a range of textile media, techniques and processes, including both traditional and new technologies e.g. computerised embroidery and digital printing.

It gives students the opportunity to specialise in areas of particular interest and allows the creation of designs and products of woven, knitted, stitched or printed fabrics and involves an understanding of fibers, yarns and fabrics.

Students will learn to explore practical and relevant critical and contextual sources such as the work of historical and contemporary textile designers and makers, as well as the different purposes, intentions and functions of textile design as appropriate to their own work.

There are close links between constructed, embellished, printed, sewn and dyed methods of textile design and with fashion design and installed textiles. Students will also explore drawing for different purposes and needs as part of this course and they will use sketchbooks to record their work throughout the project.

Areas of study

Students are required to work in one or more area(s) of Textile Design, such as those listed below. They may explore overlapping areas and combinations of areas:

  • Constructed textiles
  • Digital textiles
  • Dyed fabrics
  • Printed fabrics
  • Fashion design
  • Installed textiles
  • Soft furnishing
  • Stitched and/or embellished textiles



Component 1: Portfolio - 60% of GCSE

Students are producing a practical portfolio that in total shows explicit coverage of the four assessment objectives. The project will be based on internally set themes and subject matter developed from personal and/or given starting points.

Non-exam assessment (NEA) tasks are set and marked by a teacher and moderated by WJEC Eduqas at the end of Year 11. Total marks available are 120.

Component 2: Externally set assignment - 40% of GCSE

Students respond to their chosen starting point from an externally set assignment paper relating to their subject title, evidencing coverage of all four assessment objectives. A preparation period which will begin from 2 January is followed by 10 hour period of sustained focus work in which students are required to realise their intentions unaided and under supervised conditions.

Non-exam assessment (NEA) is set by WJEC Eduqas; assessed by the teacher and externally moderated at the end of Year 11. Total marks available are 80.


Textiles scholarships

We offer scholarships for talented textile artists.

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You will enjoy this course if you ...
  • Have an interest in practical textiles
  • Enjoy being creative and taking the initiative
  • Have an eye for detail
  • Can think analytically
  • Like developing creative ideas

What our teachers say...

"I selected Textiles as my subject as it has a broad range and exciting techniques to work with. It also offers a breadth of possibilities to apply the skills in future employment, in areas such as marketing and branding."

Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel

Textile Design encourages creativity, sustained investigation and analysis, experimentation, and design and making as a means of developing technical and expressive skills.

Studying Textile Design as GCSE or A Level offers an opportunity to extend experience and personal response, as well as developing imagination and critical and reflective thinking. An ability to innovate, adapt and work independently are key skills, valued by higher education and employers, and vital to sustaining a creative, vibrant world.

Past St Mary's students have progressed to study a variety of fashion and textile courses including: Fashion and Textile Design at Nottingham Trent University and Winchester School of Art; Costume with Textiles at Huddersfield University and Textile Design at Norwich University of Arts.  

Studying Textile Design opens up creative careers including: clothing technology, interior design, fashion design, textile design and graphic design. It also develops skills that are vital in a broad range of related areas, such as: product design, education and heritage conservation.


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Beyond St Mary's

Our Senior School students go on to pursue exciting futures.

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