A novel digital image correlation (DIC) technique has been developed to track changes in textile yarn orientations during shear characterisation experiments, requiring only low-cost digital imaging equipment. Fabric shear angles and effective yarn strains are calculated and visualised using this new DIC technique for bias extension testing of an aerospace grade, carbon-fibre reinforcement material with a plain weave architecture. The DIC results are validated by direct measurement, and the use of a wide bias extension sample is evaluated against a more commonly used narrow sample. Wide samples exhibit a shear angle range 25% greater than narrow samples and peak loads which are 10 times higher. This is primarily due to excessive yarn slippage in the narrow samples; hence, the wide sample configuration is recommended for characterisation of shear properties which are required for accurate modelling of textile draping.