How to Effortlessly Incorporate Fiber Arts into Your Curriculum

12 months ago

Fiber arts are often ignored when planning curriculum. Maybe we feel students are too old for a weaving lesson or the materials needed are too expensive. I have fallen into this mindset a time or two myself. In fact, I’ve tried some simple sewing projects here and there, but I’ve never fully committed to incorporating a strong base of fiber projects in my art room. I don’t feel comfortable teaching methods like felting or embroidery with so little experience myself.

However, I know my middle school students would go crazy for fiber arts the way they do for ceramics. The truth is, we don’t need to be experts in every medium to be good art teachers. Instead, we need to provide opportunities for our students to explore their art making options.

That’s why we are here – to help!

weaving

One introductory fiber method to try is weaving. Simple paper weaving is great for younger students. Older students are capable of more complex techniques using inexpensive materials such as yarn, fabric strips, plastic bags, and old t-shirts. Many simple materials can make great looms as well. Think embroidery hoops, CDs – even a paper cup can become a 3D weaving surface. Weaving techniques can lead to even more student choice and experimentation. Traditional tabby weaving mixed with Egyptian knots make uniquely textured pieces. The combination of materials and methods in weaving create endless opportunities for student ownership and increased motivation.

Check out the printable resource below illustrating a sampling of different weaving techniques to share with your students.

weaving download

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If you find your interest in fiber arts growing or are looking for a new, fresh approach to the medium, take a peek at our newest online course, Studio: Fibers. This class will provide an updated approach to some classic methods and techniques. Incredible content experts, including Cassie Stephens, lead the course. Studio: Fibers debuts October 1st with additional sections running in November and December. Enroll today!

What are your favorite go-to fiber projects in your art room?

Do you have any tips or tricks to ensure successful fiber projects?

Tracy Hare

Tracy is a middle school art teacher from central MN who strives to create rich, meaningful content and resources through her Art Ed PRO Director role at AOE.

Related

  • Julie Peterson-Shea

    In my middle school art classroom I have found that the kids love stick weaving. To make it something that kids can find the supplies for and do at home I make my “sticks” out of straws with a hole cut near the end to run my warp thread thru.

  • BossySnowAngel

    I am going to try to include needle felting and coiling in my high school Art One class. Coiling is very accessible since you can use basic clothesline for the core and cheap sturdy yarn for the wrap. I’ve seen some beautiful coiled pieces made with embroidery floss as the wrap. Due to the nature of the project, this would be a great ongoing project for those that finish early.

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