SOAS University of London is the leading Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

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Textile Arts of Asia

07 – 10 November 2022

Detail of skirt panel, red silk satin with coloured embroidery, China, Qing dynasty, 1850-1911

Course Introduction


The textiles and carpets of Asia are rich and varied, encompassing a huge variety of materials, techniques and designs. Long admired in the west, they appear in Britain in archaeological finds from the Viking age, in stately homes from Tudor times and in the dress of fashionable men and women as it has changed over time. Though they may have come to Europe as objects of trade and tribute, their role in Asia itself is fundamental. Their form has been governed by environmental, historical, social and political contexts. Patterns of interaction across the region mean that echoes and influences are clearly evident, though there are distinct local differences. Many places have textiles and carpets whose character is unique to their place of origin, closely tied to the way of life.


In this course we will consider how Asian textiles and carpets can be explored, drawing on research undertaken by scholars who have used literary sources, studied museum and other collections and undertaken studies in the field. Over the last century, a wealth of insights and debates have emerged which can be examined and unravelled. The approach will incorporate hands-on elements wherever possible and will aim to provide a broad framework as well as some in-depth presentations through which to appreciate and understand the heritage of Asian textiles.


This course is convened by Dr Fiona Kerlogue of the Oriental Rug and Textile Society.


Course Structure


The course runs Monday to Thursday, usually starting at 10am and finishing before 5pm. Lectures will take place in SOAS’ Russell Square, London campus. The course also features afternoon visits to the Horniman Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum (transport to and from the Horniman Museum is included).


Course Fee: £625


To see the full schedule, please click here.


To book your place, please click here.


Please note that capacity for this course is strictly limited and places are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis.


Please refer to our registration terms and conditions before booking your space.


For more information, contact: