Textiles: 1800 to 2000

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

This was a period of opposites: new technologies, mass-production and an insatiable demand for inventive designs on the one hand and flourishing domestic needlework and increasingly valued hand-woven textiles on the other.

  • Learn from our world-class experts wherever, whenever: watch lectures live or view the recording later in your own time.

  • Breadth and depth: more than 40 hours of study over 12 weeks.

  • Consolidate your learning: download lecture notes, copies of the presentations, and additional study materials from our secure Microsoft Teams learning environment.

  • Join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

  • Learn at your own pace: lecture recordings and study materials are available for up to 12 weeks after the course ends, so you'll never miss a minute.

course photo
Portrait of Course Director Jennifer Wearden

Course Director
Jennifer Wearden

In the 28 years Jennifer worked with the Museum’s Textile Collection she curated a V&A exhibition called The European Art of Textiles and authored/co-authored several V&A publications including Samplers, Ottoman Embroidery, Oriental Carpets and Iranian Textiles. More recently, she has been delivering courses on the history of textiles and dress.

Thank you you all for a fascinating twelve weeks. I have learnt so much! Previous V&A Academy student on Jennifer's Birth of Style course

Course overview

This course begins in the period when technological developments were resulting in the mass-production of textiles and then it considers how several influential designers reacted against this industrialisation, leading to the Arts and Crafts Movement. A constant supply of new textile designs was required to meet the expectations of a growing consumer society and designs were increasingly influenced by movements in the field of painting, reflecting on fabric what artists were creating on canvas. Twentieth century manufacturing processes have favoured printing and machine-knitting, but hand-woven and embroidered textiles and supremely skilled craftspeople have ensured that some textiles remain true works of art.


V&A Academy Online. A learning environment you can trust.

V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion

Enrol now

Online course: Textiles: 1800 to 2000

20 April 2023 - 6 July 2023


Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

Related events