Part 1: Design

Section A: Elements and Principles

Define in sentence form the following term and discuss how it, when incorporated into a handspun yarn, contributes to the overall design in weaving, knitting, crocheting and lace making.


Balance is the sense of equilibrium where a collection of elements together form a stable whole, with no element seeming disproportionate or out of place. Visual balance can be symmetrical or asymmetrical and can feature shape, value, hue or other aspects as the primary element. Symmetrical balance is centered on a focal point or line, with elements placed equally around. Asymmetrical balance uses varying elements to offset others, such as contrasting one large element with several smaller ones (image 3.) Emphasis on balance is not universal, many cultures have different standards that do not fit the European theory of visual design in Western art.

For textiles, each yarn has individual qualities that must be evaluated in relation to others. A particular yarn can show balance in its own design elements, generally in how elements are distributed along its length. A yarn with regularly changing design elements (for example, a slub every 25 cm) can be thought of as visually balanced by itself, but the fabric can only be evaluated as a whole. This includes the yarns, structure and finishing and even its final use if this is also part of the overall design (like a garment with carefully placed motifs.) Any one yarn by itself is only part of the overall complete design. For some pieces, the yarn is a neutral base for complex structure or color patterning and may not even be considered as part of the design except as a foundation for other elements.


Maximum 12 points

Examiner 1: 9
Examiner 2: 8