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Introduction to Textiles (Online Short Course)

Introduction to Textiles (Online Short Course)

London College of Fashion
Taught by
Paulette Colman


We are all surrounded by fabrics every day of our lives and, whether interested in fashion or not, we are aware of the continuous reinvention of new colours, patterns and designs in fabrics. But what do you know about the fibres that fabrics are made from and the processes involved to make them? How are the colours and designs applied? What would you look for in selecting a fabric for yourself or for a customer?

In this course, you will learn about the different types of fibres, both natural and synthetic, and the processes involved to create the wide variety of fabrics manufactured commercially. Each week will be composed of lively online workshops, discussions, individual assignments, personal feedback from your tutor and further information on the making of textile fabrics.

  • Major fibre groups
  • Properties of fibres
  • Introduction to spinning and yarn-making
  • Weaving, knitting and their properties and uses
  • Introduction to dyeing techniques
  • Printing methods and uses
  • What to look for in fabrics
  • Environmental considerations on fabrics

By the end of this course you will have:

  • Learned about raw materials for textiles and where they come from
  • Understood what it means that a fabric is woven or knitted, dyed or printed
  • Learned the properties of fabrics, how they can be enhanced and what they can be used for
  • Developed an understanding of the environmental impact of textile raw materials and their processing
  • Learned the terminology used in fabric processes and be able to explain what happens in the making of fabrics
  • Understood how you go about analysing a fabric to find out how it is made and what it is made from

Who is Introduction to Textiles (Online Short Course) for?
The course is ideal for anyone with an interest in fabrics and curiosity as to how they are made. You may be starting in the textile industry or considering a career in buying, sales or garment design and want to know more about the fabrics that make clothes.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older.

Why choose an LCF Online Short Course?
Our online learning short courses allow you to experience London College of Fashion wherever you are in the world. The real-time chat sessions are fully interactive allowing you to communicate easily with the tutor at the same time as fellow students. Additionally all LCF Online Short Courses include:

  • Live sessions with expert
  • Lesson recordings
  • Practical assignments
  • Personal feedback
  • VLE with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 3 months online access
  • LCF Certificate upon completion

Further details about preparing for your online course, including the equipment you need, can be found at Frequently Asked Questions.

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time. To compare times, please check World Buddy.
Please note that Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Tutor Description

Paulette Colman has had a highly successful career working in textile design, retail and garment manufacturing for over 40 years, the last 20 years as Fabric Director for a major garment maker to major UK and international brands. She has worked in particular in the area of product development – sourcing and developing fabrics worldwide for a variety of customers from high end designer ranges, high quality retailers and major supermarkets. 

Paulette has wide experience working closely with fabric suppliers especially in the Far East and has led an international team of fabric specialists in the UK, China and India over many years.

Paulette brings to the course extensive insight on the wide scope of fabrics available: how they are made; their properties and potential; and in-depth knowledge of the textile industry.

Paulette has a BA Hons in Textile Design from Leeds University and an MBA from Cape Town University.


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises, please have the following materials/equipment for the first class:

  • A notepad and a pen
  • A modern computer with an up-to-date operating system
  • An up-to-date web browser (Google Chrome is recommended)
  • A microphone (a headset with microphone/headphones is recommended)
  • Headphones
  • Webcam

Finally, a good broadband connection is also essential (mobile data 3G/4G or a mobile dongle might not provide sufficient bandwidth).

Available dates