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Textiles is a dynamic and exciting course that appeals to pupils who are interested in fashion, textiles, costume and interiors. It is a small thriving department with excellent facilities including two classrooms with a suite of sewing machines, sublimation printer and access to a laser cutter.

All pupils study textiles in Year 9 completing a ten-week textiles module where they are introduced to the sewing machine, working with colour and manipulating fabric skills. GCSE textiles runs over two years (Year 10 and Year 11). The GCSE provides an ideal basis for further study of textiles at A level and opens up a wide range of opportunities and courses at university. A level textiles pupils will usually have studied GCSE textiles but pupils from different academic backgrounds have also successfully studied textiles.

Pupils will have a strong creative vision and skills in design as well as an interest in fashion, trends and textiles. This course is highly creative and pupils are able to experiment with a range of media. A pupil will gain skills in garment construction, embroidery, print and fabric manipulation.

In Year 12 pupils are able to experiment and gain skills by being introduced to a wide variety of experiences, exploring all elements of textiles - shape, colour, texture, pattern, harmony, contrast and repetition through a range of media, techniques and processes. In Year 13 pupils can create their own briefs and specialise in a particular area or medium. They will extend their practise of a particular theme and build upon skills developed in Year 12.

Beyond the classroom

The textiles department runs an extra-curricular programme to give access to  facilities and staff expertise throughout the week. Pupils are encouraged to work in the department independently during any of their study periods and other department opening times. In addition textiles activities are offered as part of the College co-curricular programme.

Pupils can choose to participate in a range of activities within the department. These have included partnership projects with the Royal Society of Arts, the 'Dress a Girl around the World' project and several local artists. Masterclasses have been introduced to extend the opportunities available to textiles scholars. More information about these projects can be found on Textiles page within the Arts section of the website.

Visits to museums and galleries are an important part of textile studies and annual visits are made to exhibitions in London or Brighton. In addition a strong collaboration has developed between the textiles department at Eastbourne College and the Hetzendorf Fashion Institute in Vienna, Austria. There is an annual collaboration in the Lent term for all textile pupils with an intensive two-day workshop and showcase of work, followed by a bi-annual exchange for sixth form pupils during the Easter holidays. This is an exciting and unique opportunity for pupils wishing to further their experiences in fashion and textiles.

Whilst in the sixth-form, dedicated textiles pupils are able to use their skills towards their Gold Arts Award, extending their own practises in fashion and textiles. Two recent projects have culminated in a major fashion show in the Jennifer Winn Auditorium and the highly successful 'Paper Couture' exhibition in the Donald Perrens Foyer. Further details of both these projects can be found on the Gold Arts page of the Arts section of the website.

Pupils wishing to apply to fashion or art foundation courses are fully supported in developing their portfolios. Visiting speakers including university tutors from institutions such as Conde Nast and Instituto Marangoni have visited the College to help equip pupils to make the best choices for the next stage of their education.

The textiles department has two highly-qualified members of staff and a dedicated technician. The head of department previously worked in fashion and holds an MA in Fashion Knitwear from Central Saint Martins. The second member of the department is a practising artist who holds an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths University. The textiles technician is also a qualified teacher who has previously run her own dressmaking business.

Head of Department Ms ZB Cosgrove BA MA LTI
  Mrs A Young MA
Technician Mrs SAL Weston BEd


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