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St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School

St Thomas More
Catholic Secondary School

What is A Level Textiles about?


Head of Department: Teresa Perry and Thom Johnson (Art Specification)

Teaching Staff: Teresa Perry


Art (endorsed) Textiles Specification

Examination Board:


What does the course consist of?

To be successful students must be highly enthusiastic and passionate about using visual language to sensitively and thoughtfully extend their own and others’ ways of seeing the world. 

Textiles AS/A2

Entry Requirements:     

The best foundation for Advanced level in Textiles is Grade C or above in GCSE Textiles or Art, other applicants will be considered.

Introduction / Course Content:

You will specialise in the designing and making of textile pieces.  The course offers exciting opportunities to develop work in constructed textiles, dyed and printed textiles and decorative textiles, exploring a wide range of techniques.

Students will develop work following a specified theme and in relation to Textile Art and Design practice and study a range of Artists / Designers already working within this field.  Students will draw inspirations from these and their own visual research to develop their ideas through sustained investigations, selecting a range of materials and processes and creating imaginative, exciting and original pieces of work.

Other Information:   

It is estimated that in order to achieve a reasonable grade at A2 level, the students should be able to gain a minimum C grade at AS. Students are expected to spend AT LEAST 3 of their free study sessions working on their Textiles work in the department a fortnight.

Assessment weighting:

AS (year 12)

50% practical projects and critical essays -The Year 12 marks are not carried
50% practical exam forward to A2

A2 Level (Year 13)

60% practical projects and critical essays
40% Practical exam - A2 Only assessed on Year 13 work

Equipment costs

The following are course requirements:

  • Purchase base fabric for product making.
  • A full set of quality drawing equipment.
  • A4 hardback artist’s sketch book.
  • One trip to London galleries (approx. cost £20)

Sample question:

Statement of intent – theme and concepts  

  • Complete your artist research on 3 (4/5) Textile designers that will influence your work 
  • Complete a comparison of the selected four designers/ artists
  • Additional primary research – linked to the theme and linking to selected artists 
  • Complete a wide range of experimental and development samples that link closely to all of your / artists designers
  • Take initial photographs of all samples and analyse then in depth
  • Insert the photographs of the above with links to theme and the concept into your essay with a short version of your detailed analysis  - the extended analysis will be presented as an appendix 
  • Produce prototypes with a wide range of photographs particularly if you are making a product  
  • ‘Product’/ style (installation/ sculptural textile art pieces – Tate Modern) research – some additional images and information linked to the style of product that you are designing* 
  • A wide range of design ideas drawn; products / pieces. These will need to be annotated and surrounded by further development samples that link closely to your ideas and show how these can be realised as actual products or pieces – photographs can be used in your drawings as partial collages
  • ‘Initial’ Final design with a plan for all fabrics that will be created in your exam time  
  • A detailed plan that shows what samples / work you will be making to create the final piece from using the 2 day exam.
  • All the fabric pieces that you will create: methods and fabrics needed. A product must then be constructed from these during the exam.

This is guide to the work that would be submitted for both Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 across both AS and A2.

All research and development work must be very relevant to your theme and product/ style of piece that students are working on. This is a personalised study and the above is an illustration of the type of work undertaken to meet the exam board specification.

Whom does the subject suit?

The best foundation for Advanced Level in Textiles is Grade C and above in GCSE Textiles or Art.

Students who are creative thinkers and are able to develop ideas through development samples, drawings, photography, collage and mixed media. Further in depth experimentation will lead to the creation of a final Textiles product/ artwork. 

What books can I read to get a sense of the subject?

How to Create Your Final Collection – Mark Atkinson

  • Product Description: 

Designing a final degree collection is a fashion student’s first chance to approach the reality of the industry. This handbook provides a step-by-step guide to creating this collection, with each chapter exploring a different step of the project: from understanding the brief and identifying the market to research, development and sampling, through to garment design, range planning, and styling and presentation.

Richly illustrated with 350 colour photographs, the book builds on the skills learnt by students during their degree course and throughout the creation of their capsule collection. The accompanying case studies feature inspirational work by fashion students from 18 top fashion schools around the world.

Embellishment, Stitch, Felt – Sheila Smith

Surfaces for Stitch – Gweb Hedley

Art Textiles of the World – Telos

Illiustration.Play – viction:ary

Inspired to Stitch, 21 Textile Artists – Diana Springhall  

What websites are useful to look at?   (Victoria and Albert Museum – Exhibitions and resources)

What might the subject lead on to?

A level Textiles leading to further education opportunities:

Foundation Course

Fashion / Interior Design (BTEC, HND)

Degree: Theatre studies, Textile Art, Fashion, Fashion Business and Marketing, Surface Pattern and Design, Printmaking, Interior Design