Course Title: Design and produce experimental textiles

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2018

Course Code: VART6463C

Course Title: Design and produce experimental textiles

School: 350T Fashion & Textiles

Campus: Brunswick Campus

Program: C6158 - Advanced Diploma of Textile Design and Development

Course Contact: Deborah Wills-Ives

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 9233

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

John Brooks




Nominal Hours: 120

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will explore a range of experimental processes to design and produce original textiles in response to a design brief. Through this exploratory approach, you will apply a variety of manipulation techniques to create different effects on fibres, fabrics and other materials that can be used to develop new textile concepts.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSTTD5004 Design and produce experimental textiles


1 Determine job requirements

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) 1.2 Comply with work health and safety (WHS) requirements at all times 1.3 Use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with SOPs 1.4 Identify job requirements from specifications, drawings, job sheets or work instructions


2 Develop original textile product design

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Identify and analyse requirements or parameters for design and application 2.2 Conduct research to generate and explore design ideas 2.3 Select design concept and communication tools to present design concept to appropriate personnel for feedback 2.4 Respond to feedback and modify design concept as required


3 Prepare for manipulation process

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Identify materials and manipulation techniques to achieve desired effect 3.2 Identify processes and technical aspects of production to achieve different manipulations 3.3 Complete specification sheet to guide production 3.4 Undertake calculations, as required, to determine textile and material quantities 3.5 Source materials and select and prepare tools and equipment required for production


4 Manipulate materials to produce experimental samples

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Set up workstation according to specifications for work 4.2 Check textiles and materials to be manipulated against quality standards 4.3 Undertake 2-D and 3-D manipulation techniques to achieve design effects for sample and according to workplace procedures 4.4 Identify material or process faults and determine and address probable cause


5 Evaluate design and production processes

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Assess manipulated textile sample against design concept and specifications 5.2 Analyse and evaluate design to identify opportunities for improvement 5.3 Evaluate manipulation techniques to identify opportunities for improvement 5.4 Explore modifications to design or process using CAD or other design tools and communicate with appropriate personnel 5.5 Finalise modifications and design and document all processes and improvements

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to conduct research to generate new and creative design ideas to produce 2D and 3D textile samples. You will also demonstrate competence through your ability to apply manipulation techniques, using various design tools that show evidence of your knowledge and application of the elements and principles of design.  

Details of Learning Activities

  • class exercises to review discussions/lectures
  • practical demonstrations in studio
  • design activities or projects
  • peer learning
  • group discussion
  • presentations
  • research
  • independent project based work
  • ‘workshopping’ of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback
  • visits to galleries and events

Teaching Schedule




Class content

Introduction to experimental textiles – research, processes, outcomes, key artists and designers. Presentation of key artists and designers, processes and potential outcomes. Group discussion about experimental textile research and process. Introduction to assessment 1 – material swatchbook (due beginning of class week 3) Presentation of examples of work, and a rundown of what you need to bring to the next class.


Practical demonstration – creating textile surfaces from unconventional materials


Assessment 1 – Material swatchbook due at the beginning of class.

Introduction to assessment 2 – Unconventional embellishments (due week 9) and presentation of examples of work, key artists and designers, and useful resources relating to assessment 2. In class material preparation exercise and informal individual feedback discussions based on work from assessment 1..


Practical demonstration on creating materials for textile embellishment and supervised studio activity relating to creating materials for textile embellishment. Discussion about sourcing found objects for textile embellishments.


Practical demonstration on applying unconventional materials to fabrics during construction or as manipulation to existing fabrics and supervised studio activity relating embellishing textile samples with unconventional materials. Feedback for assessment 1 will be returned.


Presentations and group critique/discussion surrounding work completed so far for assessment 2 and supervised studio time working on assessment 2.


Excursion TBA


Supervised studio time working on assessment 2 and discussion about presentation of assessment 2.


Assessment 2 – Unconventional embellishments due

Introduction to final project, Assessment 3 – Swatch the Future. Presentation of examples of work, key artists, ideas for potential approaches. Benchmarks assigned for the next class.


Demonstration on refinement of experimental approaches. Working in class on Assessment 3.


Presentations and group critique/discussion surrounding work completed so far for assessment 3 – Swatch the Future. Practical. Feedback delivered from assessment 2.


Practical demonstration on refining textile experiments and supervised studio time.


Practical demonstration on presenting textile experiments and supervised studio time.


Supervised studio time and last chance to discuss any issues before final submission.


Final submission of Assessment 3 – Swatch the Future. Class discussion and reflective exercise on the last three projects.


Feedback/assessment with panel TBC

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Powerpoint presentations

Project handouts

Material and process instruction sheets

Lee, J, 2015, Material Alchemy, BIS Publishers B.V, Amsterdam

Constantine, M, and Lenore Larsen, J, 1973, Beyond Craft: The Art Fabric, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York

McQuaid, M, and McCarty, C, 2002, Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles,  The Museum of Modern Art, New York

The University Library has extensive resources. The Library has produced a number of subject guides that includes quality online and print resources for your studies.

The Library provides guides and subject specialist help via your Liaison Librarians.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is ongoing throughout the course and will include three projects and presentation of a folio to a panel of industry experts. Full assessment briefs will be provided and can be found on Canvas.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment 1 – Material Swatch book


Develop a swatchbook of experimental or unconventional materials to use as a resource for potential design exploration and product development. This may be in a folder, a book, a box, or any other appropriate format developed in consultation with your teacher, accompanied with a technical file outlining any instructions and potential uses. Due week 3. Informal feedback provided week 4, formal feedback will be provided in week 5.


Assessment 2 – Unconventional embellishments


Using a series of unconventional materials, create embellishments using textile construction and manipulation techniques. Materials for this project may be found or made by hand. A minimum of five samples must be presented with co-ordinating images. Due week 9. Feedback will be provided in week 10.


Assessment 3 – Swatch the Future


Using one or more experimental textile construction or manipulation techniques, keeping in mind the future and sustainability, conduct research and develop a body of samples in response to a forecasted future scenario. This work can take any form as long as it involves an experimental approach to making textiles. Due week 15. Feedback will be provided within two weeks.


To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback from the teacher at the conclusion of each assessment task. You should refer to the assessment brief which is available on MyRMIT for full assessment criteria

Once you have demonstrated competency, you will also receive a grade for Assessment Tasks 1, 2 and 3 and for the course. (Refer to MyRMIT for grading rubric).

Assessment Task 1: Material Swatchbook Due date: Week 3

Assessment Task 2: Unconventional Embellishments Due date: Week 9

Assessment Task 3: Swatch the Future Due date: Week 15


Graded assessment in this course uses the following grades:

CHD      Competent with High Distinction

CDI        Competent with Distinction

CC         Competent with Credit

CAG      Competency Achieved – Graded

NYC      Not Yet Competent

DNS      Did Not Submit for Assessment

Assessment Matrix

The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant unit of competency. These matrices are available through Program Administration (or Program Coordinator)

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:


Cover Sheet for Submissions:

You must complete and sign a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions.



Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises

It is strongly advised that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.


Assessment Feedback: 

You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work.  Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.


Student Progress:

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy designed to assist you in achieving your learning potential.


Adjustments to Assessment (eg. applying for an extension of time):

If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.


Academic Integrity and Plagiarism:

RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.


Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning:

Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) RCC applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview