Textile Designers of the 20th Century

Ref: C2227641

This course will explore the range of textile patterns and styles produced over the twentieth century from art deco to post modernism and focus on the efforts made by the British textiles industry to improve both the quality and manufacture of textiles during the inter war period. This was only made possible after the Second World War with new advanced technologies, improved materials and a modern response to pattern design by new young designers who wanted to make good design available and affordable to all. British textile design, which encompasses a wide range of products including curtains to tea towels, tablecloths to matching ceramics, women’s clothing to matching ceramics and kitchen laminates. We will look at how designers responded to the demand for bolder and larger patterns to fit new styles in architecture and art. Featured designers include Lucienne Day, Tibor Reich, Jacqueline Groag and Marion Mahler as well as several less well known designers.

Course aim

This course explores the development of British textile design from the twenties to the late eighties focusing on several key designers, textile companies and how new production processes and changes in society enabled good design to reach the masses

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline and http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Appreciate the development of design over the twentieth century
  • Identify influences and the limitations of pattern design
  • Appreciate how the designer develops a textile pattern using repeats
  • Identify and explain why patterns were created on a larger scale using bolder block colours
  • Express my own ideas about textile design and select a favourite designer

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • The tutor will provide information about places to visit to see twentieth century textiles and a list of books for further reading

Download full course information sheet

Textile Designers of the 20th Century


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions
  • I declare that the address I have provided is correct and that I will provide evidence of this and my eligibility to live and work in the UK

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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