The Karun Thakar Fund

Supporting the study of Asian and African textiles and dress

About the Project

The Karun Thakar Fund is presented by Karun Thakar in collaboration with the V&A. The Fund offers scholarships and grants of up to £10,000 to students, early career researchers and emerging practitioners working anywhere in the world on any aspect of Asian or African textiles and dress.


The V&A holds one of the largest museum collections of Asian textiles and dress in the world, and the extensive private collections of Karun Thakar span the textiles and dress of both Asia and Africa. Using both collections as points of departure, the fund promotes materials-based, object-led learning and encourages new, meaningful, and innovative approaches to Asian and African textile and dress studies.


The Karun Thakar Fund aims to enrich the fields of Asian and African textiles and dress by supporting new and original approaches to study and practice, foregrounding fresh perspectives and ground-breaking research.


The Karun Thakar Fund launches July 2021 with scholarships offered to BA, MA and PhD level student practitioners and researchers studying Asian or African textiles or dress either in the UK or internationally. One-time awards of up to £10,000 can be used towards tuition fees or maintenance costs. In future the fund will offer additional awards of up to £10,000 in the form of project grants supporting Asian and African textiles/fashion-based research, practice, exhibitions, events, image licensing and more. Eligibility and application guidance for the project grants coming soon.

Project updates
26 January 2022
Encoded textiles – Chinese minority textiles and their digital interpretation
My name is Leona Wang, and I am a first year PhD student at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. I come from a background of fashion design and completed my undergraduate and honors...
2 November 2021
Karun Thakar Scholarships awarded
Cloth, Côte d’Ivoire, hand-spun indigo and white cotton with machine-spun coloured thread, first half of the 20th century. Karun Thakar Collection The inaugural year of the fund saw a huge response from applicants throughout the...
8 July 2021
Call for Scholarship Applications
The Karun Thakar Fund is presented by Karun Thakar in collaboration with the V&A. In its inaugural 2021-2022 year the Fund will offer one-time scholarships of up to £10,000 to students studying any aspect of...
The Team
Karun Thakar
Fund founder
Christine Checinska
Curator, Furniture, Textiles and Fashion, V&A
Ben Evans
Editor, HALI Magazine
Avalon Fotheringham
Curator, Asian Department, V&A
Lulu Lytle
Director, Soane Britain
Divia Patel
Senior Curator, Asian Department, V&A
Gus Casely-Hayford
Director, V&A East
Siddhartha Shah
Director of Education and Civic Engagement, Curator of South Asian Art, Peabody Essex Museum