Author: Kavita Sanghvi
Have you ever wondered how we select our clothes? Well, most often we step inside a showroom, observe the mannequin, try the particular outfit and voilà it is in our shopping bag if it complements us but have we ever checked the fabric first? Have we ever questioned its physical and chemical properties? How many of us can name all the fabrics around us and list the purpose of its usage? Do we know if it’s chiffon, Georgette, brocade, nylon, silk, Terrycloth, flannel or muslin?
I asked a simple question to my students, “What is material used to make your uniform?” Most of them said cotton but was it only cotton? No, it had polyester in a particular ratio. So, thus began the process of ‘Let’s Drape our fabrics’.
The lesson was designed with the following teaching objectives:
a. To introduce the history of fabrics to students.
b. To enable students to differentiate between varieties of fabrics.
c. To enable students to test the fabrics for varied properties.
d. To motivate students to create their own product using varieties of fabrics.
The learning outcomes were designed as follows:
Students should be able to:
a. elaborate on the history of fabrics.
b. differentiate on the varieties of fabrics.
c. test the different fabrics to understand their physical and chemical properties.
d. categorize fabrics for its different uses based on their properties.
e. reuse old fabrics to design an article of use.
We began the lesson with simple experiments where the teacher hands out varieties of fabrics to the students and asks them to identify them based on the texture. https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-fabrics-4072209. They solve a worksheet on ‘Match the exhibit to the name of the fabric’. The teacher orients the students on the history of the fabrics and helps them differentiate between cloth and fabric. https://www.britannica.com/topic/textile.
Students are divided into groups and handed a particular fabric and asked to research on the fabric. 1. Origin 2. Properties – Physical & chemical 3. Uses
Students share the findings through a poster where a gallery walk is organised. Students evaluate each other’s work using a rubric.
Learning happens when there is experiential-based learning and students were encouraged to experiment on the physical and chemical properties of fabrics. The experiments were conducted on the elasticity, absorption, identifying fabric content, stain experiment and Feeling test where students recorded their observations in the journal and analysed the properties of the fabrics.
Finally, students were asked to take any one of the two types of fabric and demonstrate its use. For instance, cotton for mopping the floor. They will justify the use of cotton stating physical and chemical properties. Another example: umbrella uses nylon, polyester as these fabrics have excellent waterproofing and UV protection capabilities.
The entire learning experience was recapitulated by the students through a reflection summary in their journals and the most articulate were shared among the peers.