Overview of the visual arts curriculum

Fabric and fibre

Work in fabric and fibre helps children to be curious about how everyday fabrics are structured and develops greater sensitivity to colour and tone, texture, line and shape. They are encouraged to use fabric and fibre as materials for imaginative invention in both two- and three-dimensions, for example to use free stitching as a way of changing or developing a fabric surface; to create their own fabric, using fibre imaginatively and with a developing range of techniques; to use fabric and fibre to interpret three-dimensional natural forms, and to express imaginative play through puppets and costume-making.

Through work in fabric and fibre, children begin to understand some craft procedures and skills and some of the creative design processes in craft weaving, knitting and fashion design, for example. As they progress they develop the ability to appraise craft materials critically for suitability for a particular task, as well as the artefacts and art works that are carried out in these media.

Fabric and fibre are adaptable and enjoyable media for creativity and are materials in which the child can explore, invent and design at all levels. Their structures, textures, patterns and colours can inspire ideas and present opportunities for creative expression. They can also be used to reinforce understanding of colour and tone, shape, texture, pattern and rhythm. As the child gains confidence in handling the materials, they can be used in more complex ways. Their use can also give the child insights into traditional crafts and contemporary design, including fashion.