Working with textiles


The use of Textiles and ‘crafts’ linked to textiles can contribute to children’s sensory and aesthetic development and provide a wealth of rich and exciting experiences for primary children. Children can explore Textiles from an historical, geographical, scientific, technological and artistic way linking their investigations to mathematics and encompassing the whole primary curriculum.

Pupils can create their own designs gaining inspiration from times throughout history e.g. Tudor, Viking or Celtic traditional symbols. Other cultures can influence designs and many countries’ styles and traditions can be used to help pupils evolve their own images once existing patterns have been observed and recorded.

From a scientific point of view the pupils can investigate woven and non woven materials, natural and man made fabrics and the changes that take place in fibres when they are dyed and combined. Tests can be carried out for strength, warmth and whether they are waterproof or not.

For Design Technology the fabrics and fibres should be measured, shaped, combined and finished to produce an article or product which could be a wall hanging, container, cushion, slippers, curtain fabric etc.

For the artistic element, pattern, colour, tone and texture should be explored. Existing patterns can be enhanced or white/plain coloured fabric can be coloured and patterned using other cultures as inspiration or designs inspired by historical times which would give the pupils confidence and help them create their own images.

Above all textiles work is fun and children and adults alike can create exciting and interesting products of a high quality when the area is explored fully and sufficient time is allowed.

It is important that all fabrics are washed before any painting, dyeing or decoration is applied as often fabric is coated with substances which will resist change.

The following techniques will enable you to plan your Textiles work linked to other curriculum areas and although suggestions are made as to finished products, the skills can be applied to various activities.