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Boys and Textiles???? and smart materials

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by TheHerd, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Hi all

    I am really interested in boys and textiles, projects you do with boys in particulary in textiles throughout years 7-9 that they are interested in, do you have boys doing GCSE textiles?

    Also what books make interesting reading about boys and textils and maybe why they dont like/do textiles?

    I am thinking smart materials may be theway forward, but how do schools cope and afford this, can they?

    Thank you in advance
  2. Hi all

    I am really interested in boys and textiles, projects you do with boys in particulary in textiles throughout years 7-9 that they are interested in, do you have boys doing GCSE textiles?

    Also what books make interesting reading about boys and textils and maybe why they dont like/do textiles?

    I am thinking smart materials may be theway forward, but how do schools cope and afford this, can they?

    Thank you in advance
  3. erica_c_hanson

    erica_c_hanson New commenter

    You could have a look at middlex university on line - http://www.mutr.co.uk/, they do sample packs of some of the smart materials like the electro fabrics cheep, not enough for whole project but might spark a few ideas. They also do a thermo dyes which you can use with fabric paints a bit like those sweaty tshirts we all had in the 80s they change colour with temp changes.

  4. On the subject of smart materials and technology in particular, if you get a chance to record or watch tonight's gadget show there was a section on textiles and technological links eg e-fingertip gloves to enable you to use your i-phone or similar without taking your gloves off as they have silver woven into the finger tips. Lots of other clothing things to interest snowboarders, skiers and boys in general. Could be linked to a product analysis aspect of a project.
  5. I am in the middle of a research project into gender differences in Textiles and have spent some time redesigning my KS3 projects to make them 'gender friendly' - although I agree with you that the use of smart materials can capture boys imagination and therefore motivate them, I believe that the nature of the tasks makes a huge difference. Just the way that the project is presented and taking into account learning styles can have a huge impact - short focused tasks work great for boys and team work also makes a difference.
    Hope this is of use - let us know what you decide to do!!

  6. Anyone would think that men and boys had never worked as weavers, knitters or lace-makers. I'd suggest that you contact one or two of the museums concerned with these activities (try those in the East Midlands or Lancashire). An easy way to get started is to set up a simple loom.
    You could also try working with any dance teachers at your school to teach children a maypole dance to show how braid is made. You could then advance to making net by hanging ropes from a horizontal bar (in the gym) and asking the pupils to do a gypsy along the line alternating between all taking part and excluding those at the ends (you'll need an even no.) and alternating between two turns left and two turns right. This should produce net.
  7. melicious

    melicious New commenter


    I am doing the same research project topic, as we have quite a high number of y11 boys doing GCSE Textiles, well 8 to be precise but this 8 more than the last few years!! I wondered if you could reccomend any good reading materials?

    M Brown
  8. some very good replies here - thank you! so just wondering, in your own experiences, how do you go about making projects gender friendly? examples of this would be fab - thank you
  9. Have you considered making alternative textile products such as bags, mobile phone cases, textile boxes? For the last two years I have had students making containers using recycled materials. At KS3 I focus on surface decoration and the effects textiles have on the environment. Boys love doing CAD/CAM, I have students creating thier own logos and fabrics.
    I think there is too much focus on making garments. Textiles can be fun if you use a little imagination.
  10. Sounds and interesting research project. Could you let me know what tasks you found worked well with the boys, particularly year 9 ?
    Many thanks in advance.
  11. I am interested in hearing what people do to gain boys interest's and they type of projects they do.

    Thank you for sharing what you do on CAD/CAM etc - I was surprised you do this as, as you say, I think there is too much emphasis on making and what you do sound really fantastic.

    I think many people see CAD/CAM as RM, what do you all think???
  12. Edited to add: I would love to hear anyone's views on boys and textiles, the tasks you do with them, what they enjoy most and the projects you do. If you would prefer to email me I can give you my address...

    I am actually doing my Masters essay on this topic, so I would be happy to share my findings with you all once it is complete.
  13. I have boys weave phone/ipod covers. They create their own cardboard loom and weave with crochet cotton.
    They really enjoy doing it - and it is useful as well.
  14. Hi have you tryed macramy it's a type of knot tying that could create some interesting end results possibly a bag or as another peron on the forum sugested about acessing museums try getting some one in to teach net making like fishermen of old and using that as a basis for a project. How about getting tenting or goretex style materials and getting the boys to invent ways of protecting things eg a dog bag to save soggy pets getting the car wet to using say neoprine materials to create anti slip devices eg an anti slip case that would work for the offshore industry.

    On a girlie note why not see if you can find a uk based designer who is male that the students can identifi with to talk once a year at the school. Insperation for the guys and the girls find out how things are made.

    See if a local company will set a design challenge and the winner gets say £200 and the school gets £500 - £1000 cash to buy the next years materials or to fun sewing suplies.

    Kids love new inovation and many have siblings who use car seats get them to design carseat liners and get a carseat company to fund the project and they get to use winning design etc for 1 year

    Best of luck
  15. Sorry so long to reply - got a bit diverted! My masters project moving focus slightly and not so much emphasis on Boys Learning at present but am still really interested in what makes them tick! Also have a few boys opting for GCSE Textiles - would it be useful for you if we made contact directly? we could help with research etc.........
  16. bigpedro

    bigpedro New commenter

    May i wade in with some semi-sexist remarks.....



    lose the floral dress projects and boring posters on "types of weave" and "embelishment" that festoon your walls and bin the neat petite girly clothing made by y11 girls from years ago, along with their really pretty, arty-farty drawings.
    have pictures of male fashion magazines and male celebs / models on your walls, use modern fabrics and fashion brands that are current.
    cue knives in my direction...

    but in all seriousnes ladies (as i assume most of you are) take a step back and look at your room from a 12/13 year old lad's point of view....

    is it somewhere you'd be comfortable?
    does it show much masculinity?
    can you relate to any of the wall displays or current work which is out in the room?

    you'll be surprised by your findings.

    Please don't shout, its just an opinion,,
    Love you all,

  17. Did you complete your research? What conclusions did you come to? I'm really interested in this area too and would be interested in what projects you deliver to engage both genders.
    Do you teach A level?
  18. Another interesting discussion.... I teach every year group in school with gender mixed classes. In year 7 we make drawstring bags with applique and computerised embroidery - they use rip stop nylon or denim. The boys love textiles, they love the sewing machines and the overlockers. I teach them the machine from a learning to drive point of view. For many its their favourite tech in year 7. In year 8 we do a Food cushion project and make mini- monsters.They also love this, because they can make whatever food cushion they like. In year 9 we currently make shorts and then sock monsters, which they also enjoy. In our extra tech lessons this year we have been doing patchwork and the boys have created some of the best work, patchwork quilts, huge floor cushions, great use of colours and unusual shapes. They really stretch their own ability. very few groan. It's about having a positive attitude to your own subject and letting them know you are enthusiastic. We have a few each year at GCSE, some make sports wear others smart waistcoats. I have my first application from a boy to do A'level next year. He wants to be a tailor. A year 9 boy stopped me the other day at the end of a lesson to show me his PE bag. It was the one he had made in year 7 and he was still using it and he pointed out to me how strong it was and how well it had lasted. That made my day!
    Be postive about the subject and what you are doing and the students will soon get the same vibe about it whatever their gender.
    NB Think I may well add some male fashions to my displays - some of them need an overhaul! Thanks for the tip.

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