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Japanese Textiles

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Explore tradition and modernity in Japanese textiles, showing how ancient crafts inform the use of current technology in creating textiles in this fascinating country. From the symbolism in the textile design of kimonos to the concerns of current art textiles practitioners, we will seek to reveal what is beneath the surface.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No prior knowledge is required, but consulting at least one of the course texts is recommended.

Content of Course

1. Introduction to Japan. The kimono and traditional dress. Collection of kimonos. Dressing up and discussion (10:00 - 12:00)

Lunch break (12:00 - 13:00)

2. Textiles, paper, kites and packaging. Collection of paper and textiles. Washi video (13:00 - 15:00).

Coffee break (15:00 - 15:15).

3. Folk art and Ainu textiles. Tradition of the Performing Arts video. Current textiles artists (15:15 - 17:00).

Teaching method(s)

This day school includes a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the kimono and other elements of Japanese costume; looking at a sample collection of kimonos with commentary on their symbolism, colours, techniques, etc; dressing a participant in the kimono, and class discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of what Japanese textiles consist of;

  • Have a basic knowledge of examples of Japanese production;

  • Understand how the past informs current practice.


Core Readings


  • Jackson, A. 2007. Japanese Textiles, London, V & A.

  • McQuaid, M and McCarty, C .1999. Structure and Surface, Contemporary Japanese Textiles, New York, MOMA.

  • Noma, S. 1974. Japanese Costume and Textiles, New York, Weatherhill.

Class Handouts

Handouts will be provided.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.