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Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Course Level: 1 (HE4) | HE Credits: 40 | Approx. Duration: 12 months at 8hrs/week


This Open course will develop your creative skills-base for textiles. It will enable you to analyse and study archive textiles and creatively develop visual ideas for contemporary textiles in response to imagery, pattern, composition, structure and surface. You will be introduced to various approaches of analysing and interpreting colour and be encouraged to experiment with a range of media to prompt yarn explorations as well as produce simple textile translations.

The Open course concentrates on creative design methodology and is underpinned by observation.

Part One will develop your understanding of textile qualities using historic and contemporary references and develop your understanding textile fabrication through drawing and visual research.

Part Two will build on this research and prompt textile translations through image, stitch and fabric customisation as small and large scale work.

Part Three will allow you to analyse colour from different sources; translate these using paint, collage and yarn; and, produce a colour sample book to inspire new work in the final units.

Part Four will enable you to create experimental yarns and linear structures using traditional and non-traditional textile materials.

Part Five will explore some of these ideas as simple textile structures and surface design ideas. Throughout this Open course you will be encouraged to reflect on your work and develop evaluate skills

Rebecca Fairley on Textiles 1 : A Textiles Vocabulary


  • A1 Explore archive textiles through observational drawing and develop textile design ideas;
  • A2 Introduce you to ways of recording and using colour from different sources using a range of media;
  • A3 Develop your awareness of traditional and non-traditional yarns types and simple textile sampling;
  • A4 Develop your reflective skills and evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches.


  • LO1 Develop visual ideas to show a personal interpretation for textile-based work
  • LO2 Demonstrate sensitivity in the translation and handling of colour
  • LO3 Use a range of textile media and techniques to creatively develop design ideas
  • LO4 Reflect upon your own learning experience in the context of your studies

Course content

  • Archive studies
  • Fabric and stitch
  • Colour vocabulary
  • Yarn exploration
  • Textiles and Colour

Unit Leader

Collette Paterson

Unit Leader for Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Collette Paterson profile image

“My design experience lies across textiles, fashion, accessories and fragrance/packaging applications. I initially specialised in woven textile design, graduating from Heriot-Watt University with a first class honours degree. I undertook an MA in Textiles at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2009, where I won prizes for trend prediction material for WGSN and the prestigious International Flavors and Fragrances Award…”

Read the rest of Collette’s profile here