Media, materials and processes: textiles

Some pupils prefer working with textiles to the ‘messy’ aspects of wet media. Textiles have particular resonance in a Northern Ireland context because of the history of the industry here. The various practices and procedures of working with textiles are also widely reflected in contemporary practice, in the fine and applied arts.

Learning Intentions

  • We are learning about different types of yarns and fabrics.
  • We are learning that we use different types of fabric for different purposes.
  • We are learning that fabrics are constructed in different ways.
  • We are learning that fabrics can be coloured.
  • We are learning that we can use fabrics and yarns to create and decorate images.

Learning Activities

Provide opportunities for the pupils to:

  • compare and sort yarns according to characteristics such as colour, thickness and texture;
  • compare and sort a range of fabrics such as fur, silk, satin, net, lace and cotton according to various qualities such as colour, weight and texture;
  • identify and classify by naming fabrics such as wool, nylon and lace;
  • explore and experiment with ribbon, strips of fabric or yarns, for example by wrapping, weaving, stitching etc; and/or
  • select and sort fabrics and yarns to help make pictures.

Lead the pupils in a discussion about different fabrics. For example, focus on:

  • examining and describing fabrics found in the school and home environment, such as towels, curtains, sheets, blankets and rugs; or
  • selecting fabrics, for example for clothing; guide the pupils in some imaginative play, choosing fabrics for specific reasons such as warmth, waterproofness, movement and/or decoration.

Help the pupils to develop their understanding by allowing them to:

  • rip, tear or cut different fabrics to discover clues about how they are made;
  • experiment with simple interlacing to understand the process of weaving; and/or
  • knit on one finger to investigate the looping process of knitting.

Give the pupils opportunities to see how to:

  • print on fabric with objects;
  • paint on fabric;
  • dip folded fabric into coloured inks, dyes or diluted paint; and/or
  • use fabric crayons to transfer images onto fabric.

Have the pupils practise:

  • using fabrics, yarns and different types of paper to create collages;
  • using glue to stick small pieces of fabric to drawn or painted pictures;
  • cutting and shaping fabric to make pictures; and/or
  • using strands of wool and plastic bodkins to create simple stitches on stiff paper, card or open weave fabric.