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      “I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” —Ralph Lauren


“Every time that I wanted to give up, if I saw an interesting textile, print or whatever, suddenly I would see a collection.”    Anna Sui, fashion designer


As part of the Design & Technology world, Textiles allows students to explore the world of fibres, fabrics and fashion. It is a long journey from realising how many Textiles items are around us, making first steps in using a needle and thread, learning how to use a sewing machine in order to join and later to decorate fabrics, to designing and making their own garments and showing them on the catwalk.

In Year 7 students have one Textiles lesson every week for half of the academic year and study the following topics: Textiles equipment and its uses, the sewing machine, its parts and skills. By the end of Year 7 textiles course students are able to use basic sewing equipment including a sewing machine independently in order to join fabrics and produce a simple design on it.

In Year 8 students have one term in Textiles with 3 lessons a fortnight. Students learn how to use a sewing machine in order to decorate their work with applique and sewing machine enhancement, as well as learning how to use hand embroidery. Each student produces a fabric collage on a given theme, which are joined together and displayed around the school.

In Year 9 students have one term in Textiles with 3 lessons a fortnight. They have an opportunity to further develop their sewing machine skills and produce a multilayer three-dimensional textiles product like a vanity case or a face mask. The use of sewing machine becomes quite complex and precise and challenges students to use it not only for joining fabrics together, but also for decorative purposes like sewing machine enhancement and quilting. During the course of Year 9 Textiles students also learn and practice antient art of Tie-dye (also known as Shibori, Adire or Bandhini in different parts of the world) in order to decorate fabric as well as block printing to add a repeat pattern onto the fabric.

Outside the classroom

Students are encouraged to visit permanent and temporary exhibitions at Victoria and Albert Museum, Design Museum and Fashion and Textiles Museum

Progression pathways and careers

Students who have completed GCSE and A Level Textiles courses have a range of courses and opportunities available to them.

Possible university courses include: Fashion design courses, Art and Design foundation courses, Design courses, Fashion promotion course, Fashion studies, Fashion design and marketing, Fashion management, European Fashion, Costumes for stage and screen courses, Clothing engineering and management. There are also a range of apprenticeships for which students may apply, including at Angels Costumiers in West Hendon.

Possible careers

Fashion designer working freelance or for a fashion house, Fashion/Retail buyer, Textiles (fabric) Designer, Pattern cutter, Fibre technologist, Fabric technologist, Textiles colourist, Cutting room manager, Warehouse manager, Production manager, Fashion journalist, Costume designer and so on.       

A number of Hendon Students have gone on to study Fashion and Textiles and now work in a range of different roles including having their own design companies and fashion houses.

Useful links


Mrs Alena Gavartin, Head of Design and Technology faculty