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 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 innovative and meaningful 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 original approaches to study and practice, foregrounding fresh perspectives and ground-breaking research.


The Karun Thakar Fund offers funding via Scholarship Awards and Project Grants. Scholarship Awards of up to £10,000 are offered to students focussing on Asian or African textiles or dress at any accredited university worldwide. Scholarship Awards will next be offered in 2023. Project Grants of up to £5000 are offered to early-career researchers, practitioners, and curators as well as community leaders, grassroot collectives and community-based arts organisations in support of projects focused on Asian and African textiles and dress. The first Project Grants will be awarded in 2022.

Project updates
21 March 2023
Quilting heritage
The Karun Thakar Fund has awarded artist and designer Maya Gowaily a project grant in support of her project ‘Quilting Her-itage: Khiyamiyya Stories’. Here, Maya introduces herself and her project. Al-Hattaba Khiyamiyya wall hanging, 2020....
21 March 2023
Fashion: Kimono
The Karun Thakar Fund has awarded a Project Grant to scholar Caroline Sato in support of her project ‘Fashion; Kimono’. Here, Caroline introduces herself and her project. Promotional sample book of 101 synthetic fabrics and...
15 February 2023
The State of the Weave: Ewe Kente in Agbozume
The Karun Thakar Fund has awarded a Project Grant to a collaborative project entitled ‘Ewe Kente in Agbozume’. Here, co-project lead Lee Dekel introduces herself and the project. Collaborative textile between Bob Dennis Ahiagble and...
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