Getting started with fabric and fibre


Collage is a composition that is built up from card, fabric, fibre or other shapes and scraps that are glued to a background. Oddments from a scrap box may be added. It is a way of exploring and designing with colour, texture, pattern and rhythm.

Collage activities that concentrate on a single element, such as texture, are appropriate at times. How the different textures feel and how they compare when placed close to each other would be important, and children would also be encouraged to think about the shapes created, the shapes between the shapes and whether some of them overlap.

Colour could be explored through tones and hues of one colour. Soft fibres and twines could be used to explore movement, together with a discussion on, for example, water streaming, flowing, eddying, bubbling, wind moving leaves and things, what it would feel like to be dancing or roller-blading, leading to abstract interpretation. Encouraging the children to make the movements with their arms helps to develop their feeling for rhythm. Colourful themes, such as unusual fish, birds, flowers or objects that relate to children’s experience, are ideal for collage.