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  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Campus Attendance



Unit rationale, description and aim

Proficiency in the design, safe manufacture and critical evaluation of textile products, including smart and electronic textiles, is highly valued in product design professional contexts. This unit also contributes to an accredited sequence of textile technologies and design units that is recognised by state-based Initial Teacher Education standards authorities (NESA, VIT and QCT) and aligns with the Australian Curriculum: Design and Technologies.

This unit introduces students to textile design, materials and digital technologies. Students will learn the principles used to identify, select and evaluate the properties and performance characteristics of textile materials suitable for design applications. The unit develops competence in the selection and safe use of appropriate textile manufacturing techniques and equipment and introduces considerations of ethical design principles and practice.

The aim of this unit is for students to explore a range of textiles design and manufacturing technologies and apply these skills and knowledge to their own designs.

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Define and describe principles of and design issues in in textiles technologiesGC1, GC2, GC7, GC9
LO2Interpret and illustrate principles of design in textiles technologies using diagrammatic, graphic and text-based conventionsGC1, GC2, GC3, GC8, GC10, GC11
LO3Select and use a range of materials, tools and equipment competently and safely in the production of quality textile itemsGC1, GC2, GC8
LO4Identify the attributes of the product and design processes utilising principles of design in textiles including consideration of ethical design principles and practicesGC1, GC2, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC11



  • Elements and principles of design 
  • Criteria to evaluate success 
  • Design inspiration 
  • Developing and evaluating Design ideas 
  • Illustration and production Sketch 


  • Interpreting commercial patterns 
  • Fabric and notion requirements 
  • Pattern markings 
  • Cutting layout  
  • Use commercial patterns to produce a garment 
  • Adapting and modifying patterns 


  • Role of textiles in everyday lives 
  • Value of textiles (perceived, cultural, economic) 
  • Indigenous textile technologies 
  • Functional and aesthetic criteria of textile items 
  • End use applications 
  • Sustainability and ethics  
  • Future directions in textiles 

Manufacturing Techniques 

  • Seams  
  • Closures including zipper (centred) 
  • Buttons, buttonholes  
  • Finishing including hems  
  • Screen printing 
  • Felt making  
  • Smart & electronic textiles  

Fibre and Fabric 

  • Woven, knitted and non-woven 
  • Fibre sources  
  • Agriculture of fibre production 
  • Functional and aesthetic Properties and performance characteristics 
  • Testing the properties of fabric 
  • Finishing 
  • Fibre classification and fibre composition 


  • Correct threading of sewing machine 
  • Adjustments 
  • Correct accessories (feet, needles) 
  • Safe use and care of the sewing machine and overlocker 
  • Safe storage and management of equipment 
  • Management practices for technology teachers including safety and risk management, budgeting, selecting, storing, maintaining and replacing materials, equipment and other resources related to textiles technologies 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A student-focused, problem-based learning approach is used in this unit. 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 through practical design projects. Students design, manufacture, communicate and evaluate items against principles of textile design. 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 during development of design projects. In practical workshops students design, manufacture and evaluate textile items. 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.

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 methods in tasks completed at critical points in the students’ learning. Theoretical conceptual knowledge and practical skills-based knowledge is developed on a three-stage learning model of acquisition, assimilation of knowledge and application. Initially students acquire knowledge in textiles by undertaking research and developing a report on key concepts introduced in the lecture and develop skills through the construction of samples in the practical workshop classes. Safe work practices are introduced in workshops and assessed through a hurdle task. Practical workshops provide opportunities for formative assessment which supports assimilation of knowledge of knowledge. Using an integrated approach common in design education which focusses on the assessment of an entire design activity rather than specific elements in isolation, the summative assessment aims to assess students’ application of knowledge, skills (conceptual, procedural and professional) and competencies holistically. In this unit the method aims to assess students’ achievement of a synthesis between design theory and practice in textiles. Therefore, the main assessment requires students to design projects which include two components, 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 Outcomes

Hurdle Task:

OnGuard WHS online safety training and testing record.


Assessment Task 1

Report on textile design case-studies

Requires students to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key terminology, concepts and principles in relation to specific examples.


LO1, LO2

Assessment Task 2

Textile Apparel Design project and folio: 

Requires students to demonstrate developing knowledge, skills and communication methods related to the design and manufacture of apparel items.


LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 3

Textile Non-Apparel Design project and folio: 

Requires students to demonstrate textiles design knowledge, skills and communication methods related to the design and manufacture of non-apparel smart textile items.


LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Braddock, S., & O'Mahony, M. (2005). Techno Textiles 2. London: Thames and Hudson.

Buechley, L., Peppler, K.A, Eisenberg, M., & Kafai, Y.B. (Eds). (2013). Textile messages: Dispatches from the world of e-textiles and education. New York, NY: Peter Lang.

Faerm, S. (2010). Fashion design course: Principles, practice and techniques, Thames and Hudson.

Hallett, C., Baum, M., & Johnston, A. (2014). Fabric for fashion: The complete guide: Natural and man-made fibers (Updated ed.). London: Laurence King Publishing.

Hopkins, J. (2014). Fashion drawing (Updated ed.). London: Laurence King Publishing.

Isenberg, A. (2012). Technical drawing for fashion designVolume 1: Basic course book. Amsterdam: Pepin Press.

Kadolph, S., & Marcketti, S. (2017). Textiles (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

McDougald, C. (2006). Vogue sewing. New York, NY: Sixth & Spring Books.

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

Toth-Chernin, J. (2013). E-textiles. Ann Arbor, MI: Cherry Lake Publishing.

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