Exam Board AQA Subject Code 7562

A Level Design and Technology: Fashion and Textiles

What is Textiles Technology A level about?

If you have a passion for fashion and a flair for design, then A Level Textiles is for you.

The subject is designed to develop students’ intellectual curiosity about the design and manufacture of textile products. They will explore, design, create and evaluate innovative solutions in response to realistic design contexts. They will investigate historical, social, cultural, environmental and economic influences on design and technology and develop knowledge and understanding of the core technical, designing and making principles. They will enjoy opportunities to put their knowledge into practice when making fashion and textile products of their choice.

Is this course for me?

A flair for design and an ability to work competently and accurately when using a sewing machine. You should meet the minimum academic standards set out in the sixth form entry requirements. If, however, your grades are lower, or you are considering changing to a different area offered within Design Technology you will need to have a real enthusiasm for the new subject along with plenty of practical experience. You will also be required to discuss your choice with the specialist teacher for the subject.

The Textiles course is quite a step-up from the GCSE; the theory work is demanding and requires students to be more independent and develop self-study skills.

What else do I need to know?

It will be necessary to work in the department after school on a regular basis in order to complete coursework. Students are expected to provide their own materials for practical tasks. A one-off payment of £10 is asked for at the start of Year 12 to cover the cost of incidental consumables such as thread, interfacing and mock-up fabric used when developing products. In addition, there is a £13 charge for information booklets to support the teaching of the theory work.

What do other students say?

It's a really good course. I enjoy the fact that it involves practical work as well as written work. It’s hands on and it's fun!
Textiles is a fulfilling A Level subject that entwines the creativity of design with the scientific knowledge of fibres and fabrics. Being able to express your own design ideas in your own style makes textiles the perfect subject for a creative mind. 

Where could it lead?

Careers: fashion/fabric designer, pattern cutter; costume design, interior design, marketing and promotion, buying, retail management, fashion journalist; fashion/fabric technologist
Higher Education: degrees in fashion/fabric design, costume design and manufacture, knitwear, soft furnishings, product design. 


How is this course structured? 

Unit content Unit assessment

Paper 1

Core technical principles and core designing and making principles

 2 hour written exam
100 marks
25% of A level
•    Mixture of short answer multiple choice and extended response questions
Paper 2
Additional specialist knowledge, core technical and core designing and making principles

  2 hour written exam

100 marks
25% of A level
Section A: Product Analysis
•    40 marks
•    Up to six short answer questions based on visual stimulus of products
Section B: Commercial Manufacture
•    60 marks
Two extended response questions

Subject Content for the written exams covers topics such as: materials and applications including modern smart and technical textiles.                                               Testing materials 
Product development through critical evaluation of existing products
Manufacturing methods
Knowledge of manufacturing techniques and the tools and machinery used
 in industry
Quality assurance and quality control
Planning for accuracy and efficiency in small and large scale production
British Standards related to textile products, their care and labelling
Classification, use and properties of fibres including blends
Health and safety of products and when manufacturing
Product life cycles including care and maintenance
Enterprise and marketing
Fashion cycles
Historical influences, design movements and designers and their work
How technology and cultural changes impact on designers
Major developments in technology
Social, moral, environmental and ethical issues related to the design and manufacture of textiles
Manufacture of fibres, yarns and fabrics
Finishes on fabrics including dyeing, printing and decorating
Components and their uses
Product manufacturing processes
Production scales and manufacturing systems
The use of computer technology in the design and manufacture of textile products... and much  more
Non-exam assessment (NEA)
Practical application of core technical principles, core designing and making principles and additional specialist knowledge
•    Written portfolio with photographic evidence of final outcome. 
•    The context of the task will be determined by the student
•    Assessment  criteria includes
•    Exploration
•    Designing
•    Making
•    Analysis and evaluation
A single substantial design and make task
100 marks
50% of A level
Approximately 40 hours duration