Credit points


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TECH108 Design in Textiles

Teaching organisation

5 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent of lectures, tutorials and workshops.

Unit rationale, description and aim

In order to achieve accreditation in Textiles and Design (including Textiles Technology) from the New South Wales Standards Education Authority and fulfil the role of secondary teaching professionals, students need to undertake a sequence of advanced Textiles units to acquire conceptual, procedural and professional levels of discipline specific technologies subject content knowledge and skills. In this unit students will explore the role of textiles in research and innovation in the context of the Australian Textile, Clothing and Footwear industry. Students will consider the evolving role of textiles in design futures and consider how many innovations in textiles influence interdisciplinary design development contexts. Students will critically analyse and speculate upon current and emerging textile technologies issues. Students will visit industry and community contexts during excursions to identify needs-based scenarios for textiles design. Then students will develop advanced self-directed textile design projects which respond to specific user-centred needs in community contexts. The aim of this unit is for students to examine emerging textiles technologies through fibre, yarn, fabric, finish and manufacturing case studies in innovation and apply their knowledge in design contexts.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Discuss examples of emerging technologies and related issues in textile design contexts (GA2, GA4, GA8)

LO2 - Design, illustrate and safely manufacture user-centred textile products (GA5, GA10)

LO3 - Critically evaluate textile product attributes using principles of user-centred design (GA4, GA8).

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Innovations in Fabric 

  • Composites 
  • Washable web 
  • 3D knitted 
  • End use applications 
  • Innovations in finishes  

Innovations in Yarn  

  • Developments in yarn technology 

Innovations in Fibre 

  • Fibre technologies (natural & synthetic) 
  • Microfibres and Nanotechnology 

Pattern making 

  • Pattern modification  
  • Draping  
  • Advanced apparel construction techniques 

Innovations in Process 

  • Supply chain management 
  • Robotics 
  • Body scanning 
  • CAD/CAM 
  • Manufacturing technologies 

Interdisciplinary Innovations 

  • Textiles in industrial design, sport, health, agriculture and architecture 


  • Importance of Innovation to Australian TCF industries 
  • Research and development activities 
  • Government initiatives 
  • Niche and mass-produced products 
  • Globalisation (supply chain) 
  • Consumer demands 
  • Impacts and trends 
  • Marketplace (promotion, distribution, price, consumers) 


  • Organics, fair trade 
  • Product lifecyle analysis 
  • Legislation contributing to environmental sustainability 
  • Ecological, social and economic aspects of sustainability 
  • Management practices for technology teachers including safety and risk management, budgeting, selecting, storing, maintaining and replacing materials, equipment and other resources related to Textile technologies. 

Management practices for technology teachers including safety and risk management, budgeting, selecting, storing, maintaining and replacing materials, equipment and other resources related to Textile technologies. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A student-focused, problem-based learning approach is used in this unit. Students encounter concepts and principles of textile design and design theory through interactive lectures, concepts are discussed and broadened through analysis of specific case studies and further informed by independent research undertaken for design projects. In practical workshops students design, manufacture and evaluate textile items. Design thinking skills in textiles are introduced through a practice-oriented learning method. This method involves the parallel development of procedural and conceptual skills required for design, development and documentation of textile material products in technologies. Students develop solutions to textile design problems using a design thinking methodology and a user-centred design approach. They develop conceptual knowledge in textiles alongside procedural knowledge of textile material and manufacturing technologies as they complete practical design projects. Students design, manufacture, communicate and evaluate items using principles of textile design. These methods enable the development of conceptual, procedural and professional knowledge and skill which allows students to practice design thinking and problem solving in technologies contexts with textiles materials.


Mode:On campus lectures, and practical workshops.

Duration: Five hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.


This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments used in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The problem-based learning strategy employed in this unit is supported by the integration of progressive authentic assessment tasks completed at critical points in the students’ learning. Theoretical conceptual knowledge and practical skills-based knowledge is developed following a three-stage learning model of acquisition, assimilation of knowledge and application. Initially students acquire knowledge of innovation in textiles by undertaking research and developing a report on key concepts introduced in the lecture. Students visit community contexts to define specific user-centred design problems and develop textile design solutions during practical workshop classes. Advanced safe work practices are introduced in workshops and assessed through formative feedback. Practical workshops provide opportunities for formative assessment which supports assimilation of knowledge. Summative assessment aims to assess students’ application of knowledge and skills (conceptual, procedural and professional) competencies holistically using an integrated approach common in design education which focusses on the assessment of an entire design activity rather than specific elements in isolation. In this unit the method aims to assess students’ achievement of a synthesis between design theory and practice in textiles. Therefore, the main assessment method used is design projects which include two components, namely a design documentation folio and a designed and manufactured product or products. Folios document students design processes and include evidence of project definition, research, ideation, prototyping, iteration, critical evaluation and risk assessment.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Hurdle Task:

OnGuard WHS online safety training and testing record


Assessment Task 1

Student presentation: Require students to present critical analysis of textile innovation case studies.



GA2, GA4, 


Assessment Task 2

Design project and folio: Require students to demonstrate textiles design knowledge, skills and communication methods related to the design and manufacture of user-centred non-apparel textile products.


LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 3

Design project and folio: Require students to demonstrate textiles design knowledge, skills and communication methods related to the design and manufacture of costume design products.


LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Fletcher, K., & Tham, M. (2015). Routledge handbook of sustainability and fashion. London; New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. 

Gardetti, M.A., & Torres, A.L. (2013). Sustainability in fashion and textiles: values, design, production and consumption. Sheffield: Routledge. 

Gullingsrud, A., Williams, A., & Grose, L. (2017). Fashion fibers: designing for sustainability. New York, NY: Fairchild Books. 

Jin, B., & Cedrola, E. (2018). Product innovation in the global fashion industry. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan US. 

Kettley, S. (2016). Designing with smart textiles. New York, NY: Fairchild Books. 

Kirstein, T., & Textile Institute. (2013). Multidisciplinary know-how for smart textiles developers. Oxford; Philadelphia: Woodhead Publishing. 

Michael, V. (2006). The leatherworking handbook: A practical illustrated sourcebook of techniques and projects. London: Cassell Illustrated. 

Quinn, B. (2010). Textile futures: Fashion, design and technology. Oxford: Berg. 

Quinn, B. (2012). Fashion futures. London; New York: Merrell. 

Sinclair, R. (2014). Textiles and fashion: Materials, processes and products. Sawston: Woodhead Publishing Limited. 

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