ONLINE CLASSES WITH A DIFFERENCE 

People from various fields, be it curators, collectors, designers or artisans (including myself- let's be humble) operate from various levels of experience. Having dedicated my entire life to the study of textiles, textile design and history, I wish to share my knowledge regarding various aspects of textiles and make scholarship accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Many feel daunted or awkward to pose questions about fundamentals, while erroneous and incomplete theories abound. Join me for classes where no question is taboo. Learn in a relaxed ambiance, clarify doubts, take up new hobbies or fine tune existing ones.

Introduction to Textile Design  Level 1 


Thursdays, September 23-October 28, 6.00 to 8.30PM, EST

in partnership with the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. 

Featuring textiles from world museums, the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, as well as award winning contemporary artists and designers

Transform your understanding of textile design and history from the comfort of your home wherever you are. Join experienced textile designer and professor Karthika Audinet for a path breaking introduction to inspiring textiles and their design elements culled from reputed museum collections. Join on-line activities to develop your own aesthetic and hand crafting skills, improve existing skills through design or simply enjoy watching the demos.

Online lectures are punctuated with videos, hands-on exercises (optional), demonstrations, individual research, and group discussions. This lecture series is open to all levels, including beginners. No prior experience is required- just an open mind and willingness to learn! 

Week 1: Get an introduction to textile design starting with Karthika's journey as a textile designer from India to France and the US. See astonishing examples of early textile design. Begin guided research from the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection, along with other world-class museum collections.

Week 2: Acquire unique perspectives regarding major world textiles. Learn to develop mood boards, the textile design tool critical to beginning any design project using your research from the previous week. Acquire methods to analyze color.

Week 3: From Chanel in France to Ghanian Kente, explore stripes and their significance in various cultures. Clarify your understanding of basic woven structures through examples from Iron-age Halstatt and Pre-columbian Peru.  See or join in easy activities that will further your understanding.

Week 4: After a brief overview of natural dyes, learn about resist patterning with a focus on clamp resists. Join or watch an online workshop to create your own resist dyed scarf.

Week 5: Design is about perceiving things differently. See historical, traditional and haute-couture embroidery in new ways and begin to design your own textile patterns. Record patterns and textures around you.

Week 6: Develop an understanding of motifs, patterns and repeats while observing patterns that either fit neatly into Western theory or others that break out of the box. Learn a simple technique to set your patterns to repeat.

Register here 

email me with any questions: karthika@audinet.net

Materials are at the charge of students. Approximate cost is $55 to $70. A materials supply list will be provided to registered students.

Introduction to Textile Design Level 2

Saturdays, September 25 to October 30, 10.00am to 12.30PM, EST

in partnership with the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.

This class is full. If you are interested in attending the next set of classes, please write to karthika@audinet.net

A curriculum designed to highlight textile design elements through the study of global textile heritage. Featuring textiles from world museums, the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, as well as award winning contemporary artists and designers. 6 weeks of enthralling online lectures interspersed with mini workshops, videos, and group discussions. Pedagogical approach developed over 25 years of international professional activity in the field of textile design, craft development and education.

Long term goals:

  • Acquire fresh insights, debunk myths and expand your knowledge of global textile heritage.
  • Develop a discerning eye while analyzing textiles through the perspective of design.
  • Apply design skills to textile design, graphic design, craft and art therapy, and social practice.
  • Understand processes to design and innovate better.
  • Bring fresh inspiration to existing hobbies or spark ideas for new creative outlets.

Week 1, Coveted Cotton: Pursue in-depth understanding of fiber, starting with cotton. Cotton fabrics from the Indian Sub-continent were coveted trade goods as far back as the 1st century AD. Although we have found several cultivars of cotton in various ancient cultures, cotton weaving reached its pinnacle in Dhaka with its renowned diaphanous muslins. We will see why this fiber is so valued through the history of cotton, colonialism, Gandhi, the precarious survival of indigenous cotton in a remote village in South India; and cotton today, its pros, and cons.

Week 2, Hot Resists: A large range of applied resist patterning processes are practiced all over the world from mud and ash resists to hot wax. Understand the differences between Dabu and Ajrakh in India and Katazome, Tsutsugaki, Bingata and Yuzen in Japan. Learn ways to harness inspiration through the work of a prominent wax resist artist in S. Carolina. Adapt techniques like batik to design your textile patterns. We will try wax resist (for beginners!).

Week 3 and 4, Enigmatic Indigo: Two sessions of two hours each will take you through the worldwide appeal of indigo blue starting 6200 years ago in Peru, to the printed textiles of designer, William Morris in the 1800s. We will see plants that yield the pigment as well as successful textile designs using indigo. Understanding straightforward theory about the chemistry behind this enigmatic dye will be reinforced by setting up your own mini indigo vat using a unique recipe. Dip that wax resist piece you created last week to actually see how it works. We will end with trouble-shooting.

Week 5 and 6: Twills, Satins and introduction to Oriental carpets: Learn to plot, analyze, and weave Twills and Satins using simple hands-on activities. Acquire a solid foundation so that you can go on to understand and/or design more complex structures and Jacquard textiles. Finish with an introduction to Oriental carpets, their structures and their designs while examining significant carpets such as the Pazyryk, and the Ardabil.

email me with any questions: karthika@audinet.net

Materials are at the charge of students. This can vary from $70 to $150 depending on the choices you make. A materials supply list will be provided to registered students. Zoom links will be sent a week before classes begin.

Experimental Archeological Project

Stay tuned for details regarding an experimental archeological project with Dr. Splitstoser, Catharine Ellis and Karthika

  1. Review of textiles from Huaca Prieta 6200 years old to approximately 4000 years by Dr. Splitstoser
  2. Spin yarn with either natural beige colored cotton from Peru or sourced from Texas, led by Dr. Splitstoser
  3. Dye indigo on pre-spun (handspun if possible) yarn using rubbing method, led by Catherine Ellis
  4. Create stripe patterns, twine or weave on circular warps on simple frames with Karthika
  5. Design an inspired version using contrast, texture, stripes and different fibers guided by Karthika

This project is still being constructed. All aspects are subject to change according to availability of material.