Who says boys don't do textiles?!

As a textiles teacher one of the biggest misconceptions that exists is that boys don't enjoy textiles and don't want to opt for it at GCSE and A Level. It is true that in many schools the number of boys studying textiles is much higher than the number of girls. This generally isn't because boys don't enjoy the subject but more about peer pressure and parental lack of knowledge about what textiles is and the opportunities it provides students with. 

With the right 'boy friendly' projects boys are as interested in textiles as girls. The challenge is to find the right sort of projects and this can be a challenge as many resources and materials are aimed more at girls. There is, for example, a large amount of choice of commercial paper patterns for girls but a very limited range for boys. Shops also tend to stock more 'girly' fabric than designs that appeal to boys. 

Boys really enjoy finding out about the 'hard edge' to textiles so it is worth thinking about how you can include smart, modern and electronic textiles when you want to come up with a project for a boy. if you are looking for ideas take a look at the series of articles I wrote for Sewing World magazine all of which include these types of materials. For more information visit http://bit.ly/11jqqyA 

One of my ex-students, Nick, has just graduated from Central St. Martins in London & has produced an amazing final catwalk collection that really shows what boys can achieve in textiles when they put their minds to it! 

At GCSE he was already thinking creatively and he designed and made a giant hamburger cushion that was a nightmare to store as it was over a metre wide! At A level he went onto design a jacket made out of some army combat fabric we had been given and he integrated MP3 player speakers into the hood. For his final year of A level he designed and made a shirt with a see through plastic coat to go over the top. 

Nick Daley

Below are images of Nick's amazing final year collection from Central St. Martins

To see an interview with the student click below http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/16282/1/when-daley-met-the-don



if you are a textiles teacher looking for ideas on engaging boys in textiles take a look at the course i am running on 26th June http://bit.ly/11PLbOE  . I can also run similar workshops at your school. 

To view other blogs I write on textiles, D&T, education and coaching click on the links on the side bar

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