Skip to main content

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Overview

Designing & Making 

Cutting across a range of textile disciplines, this programme gives you a great introduction to a wide range of technologies and techniques for designing and making textiles for fashion, interiors and installation.

You’ll be encouraged to experiment and generate your own ideas, exploring design to reveal your approach to tactile, structural, three-dimensional making.

You'll be based in our Textile Studios – part of our new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops.

What sets this programme apart from other textile programmes is its multidisciplinary perspective on materials and textile application. 

Throughout the college, we value the fusion of traditional making with digital and new technologies – from laser cutting and 3D printing, through to print and dye applications, knitted textiles, tufted surfaces, embroidery and innovative fabric manipulation. 

You will access the latest digital design and making technology, exploring textile works and the potential of the designer-maker.

We focus on the development of material ideas and their application to many different kinds of products and outcomes, refining your craft, making and textile manipulation skills. 

Student Sarah Court pitches winning idea in live brief for Mercedes Benz.

Self-directed projects will encourage you to explore your vision and ideas, and the application of contemporary multimedia textiles – echoing our ethos of Live Make, while set projects will introduce you to live briefs and experiencing real designer-maker scenarios. 

Through access to diverse technologies and our encouragement of sophisticated, playful and innovative ideas, you’ll gain the tools and knowledge needed to design and make for high-end, bespoke, and limited edition textiles.

Students have access to all of our studios and industry standard kit.

What will I achieve?

You’ll gain experience of textiles, especially in the context of fashion and interiors – working across the college with product designers, photographers and fine artists in a truly multidisciplinary environment.

This programme has a national and international interest, encouraging students to visit current art spaces such as London Design Fair, Tate Modern, The Design Museum and Dutch Design Week – we’ll encourage you to visit fashion fabric shows in New York and interiors shows such as Maison & Objet in Paris.

Through exhibiting at London Design Fair, our textile graduates have secured job offers from established companies such as Heals, London and Desso, London and Luxembourg.

Students across the college exhibit and meet industry at our annual Summer Show.

You’ll be introduced to the great potential of contemporary textiles, their applications, and places to sell your ideas and develop a career. You’ll be encouraged to take up work experience opportunities and internships suited to your area of interest, and to build networks of suppliers, agents, and specialist maker events.

The UK’s fashion and textiles industries contribute an estimated £37 billion per year.  


Thinking & making  

Study with us and you’ll expand your critical approach alongside developing skills in research and analysis. Our academically robust and intellectually stimulating degree programmes are delivered by our team of academics, technical demonstrators and invited experts who together deliver excellence in learning, teaching and assessment. Our programmes encourage diversity in thinking and making - from practical applications through to reflective, analytical writing.

We provide a dynamic, stimulating learning environment from which to test new models of practice, while investing in the rich relationship between practice and theory - based on the potential in material and visual exploration, collaborative working, cross-fertilisation of ideas, and the exploration of histories and contemporary contexts.  

Opportunities for studying abroad are available at our partner institutions, click here for more.

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Highlights:

  • Evolve your visual language through expressive use of media, drawing and digital design.
  • Gain an understanding of a wide range of techniques, technologies and media, and how they relate to textiles and products.
  • Develop an understanding of consumer and art trends that will impact on your chosen practice.
  • Explore, experiment and innovate.
  • Choose to specialise, or to apply broad multimedia approaches.
  • Benefit from our great links to business and enterprise.
  • Work with design professionals who will nurture and develop you as a contemporary designer.

Have a question for our team? Email: TEXTILEPRACTICES@pca.ac.uk
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM: @pca_textilepractices

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Modules

Year 1

BATP101 Drawing and Visual Research

In this module, you will develop your existing drawing skills by experiencing a wide variety of different materials and techniques (both traditional and contemporary). You will learn ways of depicting complex 3 dimensional objects in two dimensions and explore 2D and 3D design skills. You will develop ways of seeing, looking, thinking and discovering. You will develop your visual language skills and an appreciation of the different ways in which an understanding of drawing in its widest sense can assist in this process. You will approach drawing as a means of exploring 3 dimensional volumes. You will explore a variety of drawing formats and be encouraged to explore the decorative, structural in the drawing process.

Practical experience will be augmented by field trips and study of the use of drawings by historical and contemporary artists, designers and makers.

At the end of the module, you will be better equipped to visually explore, record and communicate your ideas. You will understand the importance of drawing in relation to the design process and understand drawing as fundamental to your skill base in relation to Textile Practices.

BATP102 Workshop Materials and Digital Processes

In this module, you will be taught how to work safely and responsibly in the various workshops.

You will have an opportunity to experience working with a range of materials and processes, including traditional and digital. You will be presented with design problems through a series of short projects in which you will be asked to provide solutions and put these into practice in the workshops.

You will be asked to undertake research into the work of established artists, designers, makers, manufacturers and retailers to inform and support the exploration and application of your ideas. You will maintain sketchbooks and technical journals to record your design process.

BATP103 Material Development

In this module you will undertake project(s) that will introduce you to the complexities and opportunities of developing materials and processes through design and invention. You will develop your approach to research, trend forecasting and design development, giving consideration to a specific product or end use. You will study historical and contemporary designer-makers, design movements and relevant industrial models. You will learn all the different parts of the process from design to manufacture and selling a product. As part of this you will also develop project management and communication skills with internal and external clients.

BATP104 Professional Practice & PDP 1

This module is designed to help you explore the shape and patterns of employment in your chosen field and to enable you to start to match your current skills knowledge and creative portfolio to those that you will require to successfully compete for work in your intended career. Having identified areas for development you will work with the module leader to update your Professional Development Plan (PDP) enabling you to identify those experiences and skills you will need to acquire during your degree course. The module will cover a wide range of general skills including personal SWOT analysis, effective professional communication with employers, CVs, applications, looking at freelance working, including issues of contracts, copyright and working with agencies etc.

BAIS300 Interdisciplinary Studies

This module provides an opportunity to expand and develop skills and knowledge, through the introduction of new approaches and methods that broaden and extend the student’s understanding of practices both in their subject area, and the wider creative context in which they work.

The module will introduce students to interdisciplinary approaches and methods in their subject, and open up possibilities for engagement with practices both within and outside their immediate subject area. As such, this Module complements all of the student’s study to date, and contributes to their wider knowledge and understanding of creative practices.

The module will encourage students to explore new skills, knowledge and approaches including team working and problem solving. Above all, it will encourage critical reflection on the range of interdisciplinary approaches and contexts explored within the module.

BCOP100 Contexts of Practice 1

This module introduces students to key theories and ideas, and provides a range of critical approaches to support the investigation, interpretation and analysis of contemporary art, design and media. Students will study a range of concepts that have shaped the way that we understand art, design and media in its wider historical and cultural contexts. Students will develop core research and communication skills to help them to articulate and contextualise their understanding of the themes covered in this module, and the knowledge gained will support creative practice by developing an understanding of the relationship between thinking and making.

 

Year 2

BATP201 Textile Manipulation and Construction

Building upon skills and ‘making experiences’ gained in Level 4, you will undertake assignments looking at designing new textiles and or textile outcomes/artefacts through the manipulation of materials. You will examine the raw ingredients, fibres and threads and explore means of combining these in novel or unusual ways. This exploration will be underpinned by lectures on textile composition and development as well as the increasingly complex area of technical textiles and the hybrid interfaces which exist between these emerging materials and other disciplines. Through this stimulus you will be expected to develop new creative outcomes.

You will be required to use and further develop your skills in visual research, trend forecasting and market awareness. This module offers you the opportunity to consider your own design vision and orientate yourself as a designer- maker, relative to a range of materials and processes in the context of design.

BATP202 Self Directed Project

This module provides you with the opportunity to explore self-initiated practice. The module starts with the development of a statement of intent, which is then negotiated with the programme team, this may lead to a single assignment or multiple design briefs depending on your individual interest. You will be supported to undertake live briefs, public commissions, small scale batch production and design for industry, all underpinned by authentic design and realisation processes as well as presentation and marketing models.

This module will reflect the entrepreneurial creativity of the programme and encourage you to develop knowledge of appropriate professional contexts as you explore self-initiated, independent and authorial approaches to textile practices.

This module will allow you to pursue research and develop personal design ideas and also extend practical knowledge. With greater individual responsibility for your work, and under tutor guidance you will learn to examine more personal and special references to your chosen medium. The opportunity to work freely and to explore personal issues will demonstrate personal strengths and your individual position.

You will effectively begin your professional design career while still at college. An important element will be the ability to think ‘outside the box’ and find creative solutions in the process of designing and making.

To support an outward-looking approach to dealing directly with audiences and markets, you will also research a range of self-promotion and presentation strategies. You will experiment with formal and informal creative self-promotion marketing material pertinent to your career aspirations and develop and realise your own concepts as you consider strategies for raising your profile and setting your design-maker practice apart from the competition.

BATP203 Professional Practice & PDP 2

This module extends skills acquired during Level 4 allowing you to further explore professional textile practice alongside an investigation into in-house employment, commercial freelance design and entrepreneurial opportunities. Running across Level 5, it will inform an understanding of the level of professionalism, creativity and adaptability required to negotiate a career in textile design and associated professional industries.

You will learn basic organisational techniques, costings, the basics of marketing and be introduced to the appropriate legal issues such as intellectual property rights. There will be an emphasis on development of appropriate skills in an employment context.

Throughout the module, you will also consider business and practice skills required to plan for a career in textile design, including the skills and attributes required in contemporary practice alongside developing an understanding of ethical responsibilities.

Continuing on from the good practice set up in the level 4 Professional Practice module, reflection will also be an ongoing, continuous process recorded and archived through your PDP blog and further developed to create your own online design portfolio and presence. Industry placements/internships and visits will be encouraged.

GCOP200 Contexts of Practice 2

This module extends and develops the themes, ideas, concepts and critical discourses introduced in Year One. Students will attend core lectures and participate in a lecture/ seminar series designed to deepen their understanding of creative practice in its wider contexts. This themed approach encourages students to make considered and appropriate links between their area of practice and wider contextual and interdisciplinary discourses. You will continue to develop critical approaches to research, which will inform your understanding of the relationship between context and practice.

 

Year 3

BATP301 Research and Experimentation

This module will stipulate the overarching direction and outline research methodologies that will provide a platform from which your Creative and Professional Conclusion module may develop.

It is a period of reflection on past creative outcomes and the success of their commercial application. The questioning of theories and experimentation in practical processes will allow you to plan your final project and negotiate a course towards its conclusion considering future career or learning aspirations.

Negotiated proposals for outcomes must evidence indicative inclusion of contextual studies subject matter and creative intent for the final year must be clearly definable at the end of this module.

BATP302 Creative and Professional Development

This module will enable you to use personal career ambitions to position yourself for progression to employment, self-employment or to post-graduate study. It will provide multiple opportunities for you to assimilate previous industry experiences and research into both contextual subject matter and creative outcomes of the final year modules.

The module will encourage consideration of audiences, end-users and relevant markets. Relationships with appropriate external agencies, individuals and professionals will be explored and interactions with the creative, commercial and cultural environments will be investigated.

BATP303 Creative and Professional Conclusion

This module represents the culmination of the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired throughout the entirety of your study on the programme through the engagement in a project that is the result of a self-initiated or self-selected brief.

BATP304 Contexts of Practice 3

This module provides students with two pathways. Each pathway supports the development of independent critical thinking and requires them to consider and contextualise their practice by situating it within a wider set of discourses and contexts. 
Pathway One - Written Research Project (WRP) is an opportunity to conduct a substantive piece of independent research, which is focused on an area related to creative practice. 
Pathway Two - Contextual Enquiry Project (CEP) is a practice-led research project with critical commentary, in which students conduct an in-depth inquiry intended to inform and reposition their creative practice.

 

Module details listed above are indicative content only.
All modules listed are compulsory.

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Staff

Cathy Freeman

Cathy Freeman
Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader

"For me Design, and particularly Textiles, enriches our everyday life. It incorporates the fantastic sensual qualities of pattern, colour and touch and it can provide an exciting career for any student who enjoys drawing, making and has a discerning eye.

As a tutor my role on the course is teaching both practical aspects of design and integrating contextual studies – it’s really all about having a curiosity and a desire to produce intelligent beautiful designs.

I have a BSc (Hons) in Textile Design and Design Management and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Practices, as well as industry experience working with clients such as Conran Pacific, Pentagram, American Express, Conde Naste, Mandarin Oriental and designing everything from ceramics, wetsuits, watches, textiles, magazines to packaging."

Emma Gribble

Emma Gribble
Lecturer

Emma is a textile designer who has developed a successful interior textiles brand which is sold on-line and in retail outlets all over the UK. She has worked with globally renowned agencies designing printed textiles for the fashion and interior design markets. She regularly produces one-off commissions and has exhibited work all over the UK and in Europe.

For the past eight years Emma been teaching and sharing her extensive technical knowledge and passion for printed textile design. She is constantly striving to learn more, innovate her ideas and loves to work with tomorrow's designers.

Rebecca Dodman

Rebecca Dodman
Lecturer

Rebecca is a knitwear designer, based in South Devon. Her latest project 'Metamorphosis', which explored themes of transformation and was inspired by Franz Kafka's book of the same name, was featured in VICE Magazine.

Rebecca is committed to producing unique designs right from the initial design stage and sketching, to pattern cutting, grafting and then knitting the garments.


Vicky Putler
Lecturer

Vicky has been working within the field of textiles for eight years and in art practice generally for 25 years, since graduating from Goldsmiths College. She has a broad range of art and design interests as well as experience in a range of professional contexts.

In 2010 Vicky founded printed textiles company Thorody with Theo Sykes. They produce hand screen-printed linen for interiors and have exhibited at several key London trade shows including designjunction and Home, and they count major retailers, such as Heals, among their stockists. They also supply fabric and products to high end interior designers/architects, Waldo Works, JR Design, Stuart Barr. Thorody has operated successfully in the design and craft world and Vicky has developed good relationships in various parts of the textile, design, education and business world both here and abroad.

Since 2017 Vicky has been a Short Course and Young Arts Tutor at Plymouth College of Art, and since Jan 2019 she has been a part-time lecturer on our BA (Hons) Textile Practices, BA (Hons) Printed Textile Design & Surface Pattern & MA Textile Design programmes.

As an artist Vicky has exhibited widely both in the UK and Europe. She was shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2001 and Art Futures in 1999. Vicky holds a 1st class degree in Fine Art & History of Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London, an MA in Fine Art, Goldsmiths College and a PGCE in Art & Design 14-19, Institute of Education, University of London.

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Student Work

Student work by Jenny Jefferies.

Student work by Ildiko Hurley

Student work by Amy Wright

Student work by Savannah Wiley.

Student work by Ildiko Hurley.

Student work by Melanie Wood.

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Students Say

Ildiko Hurley – BA (Hons) Textiles student:

"In 2013, I arranged a visit to Plymouth College of Art and was offered a place . I haven’t looked back since. I chose a degree in Textiles because it is closest to leathercraft and they relate well. Coming here is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.

The next big life changing event came for me in my second year at the college. Through our international Erasmus programme, I spent the autumn term of my second year studying at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, in Budapest. This was the university that I’d longed to study in 20 years ago. It was an absolutely wonderful experience - so much so that I’d make the Erasmus programme mandatory if I could.

Now that I’m in the third year of my degree, I’m still interested in natural fabrics such as leather,  wool and silk. I’ve honed a lot of valuable skills, such as screen printing, machine knitting and felting wool. I’ll continue to make pet products, but I can diversify now to create framed textile art and practical items like clothing and cushions.

I expect that in future, the things that I sell will shape a specialism, but for now I’m enjoying working with lots of different fabrics and techniques and don’t want to narrow myself down yet. I make all of these things with such joy. I’m very happy!"

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Careers & Alumni

The South West has a rich tradition of independent creative business. We have a long history of involvement with events at the Contemporary Craft Festival and Port Eliot Festival, and encourage students to present and market products at national design events throughout the year.

Our staff and students are involved in the college’s biennial Making Futures conference, bringing delegates from around the world to discuss developments in crafts, making, society and culture.

Students exhibit their work to industry and fellow designers at London Design Fair 2016.

Awareness of current design opportunity is further underpinned through competitions and live projects with an impressive list of national and international links. 

Our strong international connections allow our students to take a semester of study with one of our partner institutions within Europe and North America, and in turn, we welcome overseas students from those institutions to join us in our design studios, creating an exciting cultural exchange.

 

Graduates become:

  • Designer-Makers
  • Freelance Textile Designers
  • Textile Artists
  • Design Stylists
  • Design Researchers
  • Trend Forecasters

Careers & Enterprise in the Curriculum’ at Plymouth College of Art 

Professional practice is embedded within all of our programmes.  Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop the key professional, transferable skills for employability in the creative industries and potentially work in partnership with other sectors locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

From writing and making the most of your CV to gaining industry experience, the acquisition of professional skills has been written into the programmes of study by our staff teams, who have ‘real world’ experience. They are also supported by our Industry Liaison Groups, who help inform the development of the higher education curriculum.

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Entry Requirements

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Resources

As part of an £8 million development of studios and workshops, we offer our students an inspirational learning space overlooking the city and the sea. This dedicated space gives students both group and individual workspaces, with access to a huge range of other specialist workshop areas across the college.

Our ambition is for you to go beyond your current understanding of the possible. We’ll introduce you to our digital fabrication laboratory, Fab Lab Plymouth, which provides endless opportunities to experiment and innovate, allowing you to apply 3D scanning, 3D printing and laser cutting to textiles.

You’ll also have access to AVA, Photoshop and Illustrator design software, knitting and digital embroidery machines, dye labs, and digital and screen printing facilities. We also have a tufting gun for creating rugs, carpets and wall hangings, as well as equipment for bonding and heat fusion.

Encouraging you to keep ahead of the latest developments and design movements, we’ll introduce you to WGSN and Future Laboratory’s trend forecasting tools so that your work is always current.

Our Textile Design Studios.

Our teaching staff are all professional textile designers and artists themselves, working across fabrics, gallery projects, fashion and interiors. You’ll have the chance to hear from visiting industry professionals such as Studio Silo, Katie Schwab and Dutch design collective Envisions.

We aim to encourage your creative education, and help you to develop your career through your studies and after. Our Careers & Enterprise office provides support from a dedicated team who are purely focused on developing creative opportunities. And this doesn’t stop when you graduate – we want to keep in contact and help support you through the first two years of your career.

 

Facilities at the college include:

Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Ceramics and Glass Workshops

With a glass furnace that works at 1,100 degrees, 10 potters wheels, resources for hot, warm and cold glass processes, a plaster room for mould making, 16 kilns, a well-stocked glaze mixing area and individual studio space, our Ceramics and Glass Workshops have a real ‘wow’ factor, rivalling any art school around the country.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

Our Fab Lab.

Fashion Studios

This large professional studio offers a real-life fashion experience in a fabulous space with sea views. Specialist industrial and domestic sewing machines, a range of knitting machines and a wide stock of fabrics and knitting yarns sit alongside a media and marketing Mac suite, a fully operational CAD cutting facility, and a library of designer garments to inspire.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, an historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Jewellery Design Studio

Housed in our fantastic new Craft, Design and Fabrication Workshops, this stunning space provides everything for contemporary and traditional techniques in jewellery design, including benches supplied with gas and oxygen, in-house metal casting resources, hand and machine-forming tools, facilities for vitreous enamelling, and a separate chemical room for etching, anodising and patternation. We also have larger metalwork equipment for welding, brazing, cutting and grinding.

Textile Studios

With views out to sea and 35 metres of print tables to encourage experimentation, our Printed Textile Design Studios also boast a fantastic Mimaki fabric printer, digital embroidery resources, industrial sewing machines, sublimation printers, a dye lab, heat presses, a tufting gun and a Mac suite. It’s got to be one of the best printed textile workshops in the UK.

Tufting gun.

Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre

Our Digital Print Bureau offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. Our highly experienced Equipment Resource Centre staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Our Woods and Plastic Workshop.

Knitting machine.

BA (Hons) Textile Practices — Interview

UCAS Code: WYC2 Full Time
Part Time

UNISTATS

undefined