An Introduction to Technical Textiles

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Find out more about technical textiles




Below is basic information on smart materials which covers the type of information students need to know for the core content of the D&T GCSE for England. Check your specification for the exact learning that is needed and to see how suitable the information is for other qualifications.

Technical Textiles

Click on the image to see a larger version & to download the handout as a PDF


Read a document we created for the National STEM Learning Centre introducing technical textiles

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To see information on specific technical textiles visit the main menu on this website


#ThinkDo

To find out more about technical textiles visit the D&T GCSE section of BBC Bitesize

Use these activities to test your learning. Click on the images to download the handout.

Technical Textiles keywords

Click on the image to see a larger version & to download the handout as a PDF


Technical Textiles revision card A5

Click on the image to see a larger version & to download the handout as a PDF

Technical textiles

Click on the image to see a larger version & to download the handout


These predictions on future materials were made in 2006. Have the predictions already happened? What might we predict the new technologies to be in 10 years time? Create a D&T time capsule saved in your school for future students to open and review. 

Click on the image to see a larger version & to download the handout as a PDF

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With thanks to Emtex for permission to share this information from their New Textiles poster resource


Other Links

  • This is a directory of UK technical textiles companiesInvestigate the technical textiles companies in your area.
  • Investigate the technical textiles produced by Toray Textiles & Capatex Ltd
  • The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) gives annual awards for design excellence and innovation in speciality fabric applications and technical textiles in categories ranging from fabric structures and architecture, canopies, marine fabrication, and geosynthetics. The show how textiles materials and techniques can be used in extreme situations often not linked to the traditional view of textiles.  Each entry includes information on the design problem and client making it useful as a prompt for thinking about designing for real contexts. 
  • Material testing even takes place on Mars! Hear Amy Ross, an advanced spacesuit designer from NASA, talk about how materials currently used in spacesuits have been tested on Mars as part of the Perseverance mission to see how they stand up to the environment, including dust, solar radiation and cosmic rays. Textiles materials being tested include Ortho-fabric, a made from Kevlar, Gore-Tex and Nomex, Vectran which is a liquid crystal polymer, Teflon coated textiles, as well as polycarbonate that’s used on visors.


Return to the Technical Textiles page to see all resources 

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