A'level textiles - what is this good for?

(24 Posts)
NigellasGuest Wed 18-Sep-13 15:01:06

dd is in Year 11 and aiming for a career in dance.

HOWEVER she's realistic and is aware of the need for a Plan B. Alongside her dance training she will be doing A'levels next school year, and is fairly sure she would chose English. She needs to chose at least one more a'level, possibly two more, and really wants to do Textiles (she's predicted an A* for her GCSE). If she has to stop the dancing, what might be available to her with a couple of Alevels in English and Textiles? Career wise that is? Bearing in mind she says she definitely does not want to do Art/Graphics of any kind (immediately shutting a load of options)!

Any science or language A'levels are out of the question BTW!

chocolatemartini Wed 18-Sep-13 15:10:30

I did this. Hasn't been any use professionally (although not a hindrance either) but very useful having fairly advanced sewing skills in life. Who wouldn't want to be able to make their own clothes/ bags/ creative wall hangings/ pieces of textile art?

chocolatemartini Wed 18-Sep-13 15:14:33

As for career ideas, not sure sorry but I'm a great believer in dcs following their passions at that age. Real life will set in anyway at some stage after university.

TheAwfulDaughter Wed 18-Sep-13 15:19:52

There is no point her doing 2 A-levels- none. It's not a suitable back up.

English lit, English Lang, textiles- fine

Even if she did something like photography or drama or media studies alongside an English and textiles- at least it gives her the 3 A-levels needed to get on apprenticeships or go to uni.

chocolatemartini Wed 18-Sep-13 16:06:54

I did just 2 A levels back in the day. My degree course offer was 2 Es so I didn't even need to work hard for them grin apparently things have changed now...

NigellasGuest Wed 18-Sep-13 16:07:07

full time ballet training is tough and they tend to do 2 a'levels alongside, no more, AFAIK... although some do 3. I need to research a little.

chocolatemartini Wed 18-Sep-13 16:14:03

I should probably leave this thread I'm not being very helpful! 3 A levels is a good idea unless it scuppers her chances of doing dance by taking her time away from that. If she's looking at somewhere like Laban for dance, they may not care so much about A levels but she would prob need to be in very good shape dance wise, it would be a shame to compromise what she really wants to do by having to work too hard on her back up plans and neglect the dancing. Music is like that anyway, for conservatoire courses. You normally used to have to do 2 a levels because you'd be practising 4 hours + per day in sixth form to stand a chance of getting through the auditions. I don't really know about dance though, can you get someone to advise on what her chances really are?

Considering how many different textiles we are surrounded by every day, I think that someone with a talent for creating and designing new textiles would be able to find a fulfilling career.

NigellasGuest Wed 18-Sep-13 16:25:10

don't worry chocolatemartini any input is helpful! Just to be offered a place at a vocational dance school at 6th form means you have potential, but there are no guarantees. She definitely is talented but anything could happen.

They usually train for 3 years before auditioning for a Company (if they are lucky enough to get to that stage) so in theory that means 3 years for a'level.s Perhaps she will be able to manage 3 in that case, if she has an extra year.....

chocolatemartini Wed 18-Sep-13 17:12:53

Sounds hopeful! Yes three over three years does sound manageable. Wish her luck with it all anyway!

Orangeanddemons Wed 18-Sep-13 17:19:01

I teach A level textiles. The textiles industry is worth a bomb to the Uk, and there are masses of jobs in it. When I was doing my degree it was the third biggest employer in the Uk.

I can list them all if you want. It's a bit of a hidden industry IMO. No one seems to be aware of it, and they are always really surprised when they find out how many jobs there are. It stood me in good stead for 10 years, and I was always able to pick up freelance during periods of unemployment.

luxemburgerli Wed 18-Sep-13 17:26:29

Interesting Orangeanddemons... I'd like to hear some from your list if you have the time!

I suppose the question is though, how do you get those textile industry jobs? Is a textile A level useful for that? Sounds daft I know, but e.g. to do law universities don't recommend doing law A level.

nipersvest Wed 18-Sep-13 17:30:26

i have a degree in textiles, have worked for a craft kits design company for 12 years, now have my own business and have had a craft pattern book published, so yes, there's plenty you can do with a textiles degree.

if dancing doesn't work out, there's other options like costume design if she want to do something theatrical based.

nipersvest Wed 18-Sep-13 17:31:18

oops, not textiles degree, that's meant to say textiles a level.

Orangeanddemons Wed 18-Sep-13 17:35:13

A textiles degree is usually required.

Fashion designer, fashion illustrator, journalist, trend predictor, marketing, promotion, pr, textile designer, interior designer, garment technologist, Q,C, production, styling, pattern cutter, carpet design, knitwear designer, surface pattern design, merchandiser, buyer ( men's, ladies, children, interiors, household textiles) weaving technologist, testing, sample machinist, miliner, sock designer ( really competitive!!!) accessory design, children's wear design, menswear, etc etc. I could go on....

Orangeanddemons Wed 18-Sep-13 17:35:46

Oh yeah, costume design too forgot that

Fashion obvs!

NigellasGuest Wed 18-Sep-13 17:53:07

very interesting! I love how textiles is required in order to be a "trend predictor"!

Yes we have often suggested costume design to dd and she's a bit meh about that, probably because she'd rather be dancing in the tutus or whatever, than making them for others. But that's a 15 yr old talking and I'm sure she will become more reasonable in time. ~Who knows, she might make it on stage anyway!

Orangeanddemons Wed 18-Sep-13 17:58:37

Oh, there's a whole industry around trend prediction/forecasting alone. It's huge! They work up to 5 years ahead of what's in the shops, although I think it is more of an instinctive thing, than something you could learn. The are hundreds of specialist tomes produced across the entire industry every year. You do have to able to sketch though.

It's the job everyone wants. Flying round the world looking at what people at wearing

drawohamme Wed 18-Sep-13 18:01:19

I hire fashion/graphics/textiles people and if she's interested in this (assuming the dance didn't work out) she'd be far better doing a vocational fashion course or even an art foundation one. If she wanted to go on to do a fashion degree she'd find the transition to university a lot easier. I have a small amount of experience helping to teach an A level textiles course and I found that they don't teach the design process as well as at an equivalent art college.

stella69x Wed 18-Sep-13 18:17:52

Does the dance course have ACAS points? coz that may make up the requirement for uni entry with the 2 A levels

NomDeClavier Wed 18-Sep-13 18:29:39

One of my friends now works in 'heritage' having done textiles. She started off quite niche (something to do with weaving I think) but has moved out of that to broader conservation and heritage work. I find what she does fascinating.

NigellasGuest Thu 19-Sep-13 11:11:20

will look into ACAS points - thanks for that. I know lots of dance courses have these - the school DD is aiming for is quite small however and it might be a different situation but worth looking into.

I asked her last night what she would want to do in Textiles career wise, and she said "what Rachel in Friends does" hmm

NigellasGuest Thu 19-Sep-13 11:12:10

sorry, *UCAS

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