Tamara Hardy
Family and Consumer Sciences Education
Material Type:
Middle School
Fabric, Fiber, Lesson Plan, Textiles, photography
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
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Textiles: Fiber, Yarn, Fabric

Textiles: Fiber, Yarn, Fabric


This lesson was made to be used for 9th grade "Sports and Outdoor Product Design 1" students.  It can easily be adapted to fit other grades as well.  It will teach students about fiber, yarn, fabric -- including knit, non-woven, and woven (plain, twill, and satin weaves).  Students will complete a Digital Scavenger Hunt by taking pictures, and finding open licensure pictures online (giving proper credit for the pictures).


This lesson will teach students about fiber, yarn, fabric -- including knit, non-woven, and woven (plain, twill, and satin weaves).  Students will complete a Digital Scavenger Hunt by taking pictures, and finding open licensure pictures online (giving proper credit for the pictures).

  • 80 minute class periods (1-2 days)
  • This lesson can be taught face-to-face, or digitally (if students have some basic supplies at home).
  • Author: Tamara Hardy

Lesson Thumbnail Image Credit: "Plain Weave" by Tamara Hardy

Background for Teachers


  • To teach this lesson, you will need to know how to search for images online (and how to give proper credit).  It will be helpful to have some understanding of how to use the camera on a cell phone or iPad.
  • You will need knowledge of the following vocabulary words: warp, weft, filament vs. staple yarn, knit, non-woven, woven.  We will also cover plain, twill, and satin weaves.
  • The article Textile is a helpful resource in Utah's Online Library.


Yarn - a group of fibers twisted

Filament - composed of filament fibers

Spun - composed of staple fibers - Staple refers to textile fibers of discrete length. The opposite is a filament fiber, which comes in continuous lengths. Staple length is a characteristic fiber length of a sample of staple fibers.

Warp - Lengthwise yarns 

Weft - Crosswise yarns

Woven - warp and weft yarns are interlaced at a 90-degree angle, no to limited elasticity.

Knit - made by looping yarns together, medium to high elasticity.

Non-woven/felted - fibers are pressed together with heat, moisture, pressure.

Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

Sports & Outdoor Product Design 1:

STRAND 3 - Standard 2: Classify the distinction between the types of yarns.

STRAND 3 - Standard 3: Examine the construction of fabric.  Identify the characteristics of woven, knit (looping yarns), and non-woven/felted fabrics.  

Students will learn the difference between fiber and yarn, and filament vs. spun yarn.  They will identify knit fabric, non-woven fabric, and woven fabric (examples include 3 types of weaves: plain, twill, and satin), and understand the meaning of warp and weft yarns.

Students will examine fabric with a microscopes and/or camera (zoom in to see a magnified image).  They will complete a Textiles Scavenger Hunt to show their knowledge of things learned in class today.  If time permits, students could make a paper example showing three types of weaves ( plain, twill, satin).

Students will practice using the zoom feature on their cell-phone cameras (if they have them), and increase their digital citizenship skills by giving proper credit to photos they find online.  We will discuss how to find openly licensed photos, and how to include photo credit information in their projects.

Step 2 - Planning Instruction

Step 2 Planning Instruction

Student Background Knowledge

  • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have basic computer skills.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

More advanced learners can use a small cardboard loom (about 5"x5"), to make a woven project.  They can use a variety of weaves and different colored yarn or fabric strips.

Slower learners can do a paper-weaving project instead of taking pictures and using computers.  They can work with a team so they won't need to find as many pictures on their own.

Supplies Needed

Paper, Scissors, Tape or Glue

Small Fabric Swatches (minimum size 2"x2")

Fiber samples (optional): wool, cotton, etc.

Microscopes (optional) or handheld magnifying glasses

Cell-phone or iPad with access to a camera app

Textiles Scavenger Hunt (Digital Copy on Google Drive)


Step 3 - Instruction

Step 3 Instruction

Introduction:  Have students look at the clothing they chose to wear today.  How was this fabric made? 

How It's Made Fabrics

Teach students about the different types of fabric construction by viewing the following video clips, or by showing them how to make the weaving samples included in these videos.

If time permits, students can make small paper examples of each of these weaves (plain, twill, satin).

Plain Weave -

Twill Weave -

Satin Weave -

Another option is to show which is a great resource on how to do twill and satin weaves.

Optional: Students can follow along and make examples of each of the three weaves using paper, scissors, and tape or glue.

Review vocabulary words with students (as listed in the planning section of this lesson).

Then students can examine fabric swatches under the microscope or by using the zoom feature on camera apps (cell phones or iPads) to see if they can identify the different types of fabric construction (knit, woven, non-woven).

Students may complete the Textiles Scavenger Hunt page by taking their own pictures, but they could also use some photos that they find online.  First teach students how to search for appropriate, license-free images online (a few options for openly licensed image libraries are listed below).  Students should give proper attribution / photo credit in their Scavenger Hunt project. 

Openly Licensed Image Libraries


Step 4 - Assessments

Check for undertanding if students are making the paper weaving examples.

Observe students as they discover different types of fabric construction when they are looking at fabric swatches with the microscopes or their cell phones.

Students can share their Textiles Scavenger Hunt results with other students in the class prior to submitting it for grading.  See attached rubric.