Design the projects of your dreams

Weave cloth that expresses you
Learn with responsive teachers, community, and tools
Weave your own designs - start today!

Designing your own handwoven cloth can be challenging

Small changes to a project can produce seemingly unpredictable results. 

Because it seems so hard... many weavers stick to weaving “recipe projects"

After the first few disasters, lots of people just give up.

They weave projects from books or magazines, because they know those projects will work.

They create others’ designs, because they lack the knowledge – and with it, the confidence – to create their own.

Fun, but not thrilling.


But...what if you could design cloth that thrilled you?

Here's a project one of our students made,
starting from an inspirational photo.

She's delighted.

Moth pillows, by Mary Dyer

Anyone can learn how to design

The struggle doesn’t come from lack of ability. 

It’s from lacking knowledge – the information you need to plan and execute each part of the process.

But designing projects doesn’t have to be hard to learn. Not if it’s taught by someone who explains things really well.

Create the projects of your dreams

Once you’ve learned to design, you can make work that reflects your personal taste and style, that achieves your weaving goals –

Designing your own projects can feel intimidating and overwhelming. And when you’re struggling, it may feel like a magical, innate talent is needed to design great projects. That simply isn’t true.

It doesn’t have to be difficult, and you don’t have to struggle.

In fact, it can be

But where can you learn the skills you need to design?

Hi, we're Janet and Tien

the co-founders of the Handweaving Academy

I’m Janet Dawson. My expertise is designing good, functional cloth. 

Over the last two decades, I’ve taught thousands of students about the physical and structural aspects of designing cloth, as well as techniques for actually weaving it.

I live for the moment when a student’s eyes light up with understanding.

I’m Tien Chiu. My wheelhouse is color and visual design. 

I’ve studied color for the last decade, weaving and dyeing thousands of swatches to develop deep color expertise. 

You may have seen my articles in Handwoven, Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot, and Complex Weavers Journal, or taken some of my online classes.

I love helping other weavers by demystifying color.

Between us, we’ve taught a zillion students how to design and create their own handwoven projects.

AND the truth is...

Anyone can learn to design thrilling projects
that suit their tastes and goals.

You don't need fancy equipment, tons of experience, or "creative talent," either.

You can weave it your way

Step into design

At the Handweaving Academy, you’ll find everything you need to start creating your own projects

Many schools give you information and stop there. But that’s not enough.

Design is complicated. There’s a big gap between having bits and pieces of knowledge and understanding how they all go together. There’s an even bigger gap between understanding the theory and actually creating projects that thrill you, that suit your tastes and your goals.

Books and video classes can give you information, but books and videos can’t answer your questions. And it’s very difficult to build the framework of knowledge you need if you can’t get answers to your questions.

And that’s why we started the Handweaving Academy.

At the Academy, we support the whole weaver, helping you build that framework and start putting it into practice. And we help you get answers to your questions.

“Tien and Janet are instructors extraordinaire.  I appreciate the breadth of material presented, the creativity used in developing The Handweaving Academy website and the thoroughness in “weaving” together the various lessons for each course. 

It is wonderful to be able to connect with other weavers via the discussion groups and forums and I love all of the “eye candy” shown in the sample weavings from academy members. The Handweaving Academy definitely provides a valuable learning experience.”

– Mary Dyer

Learn to design thrilling cloth at
The Handweaving Academy

Everything you need to become your own weaver

Take classes that teach why, not just how
hands-on, to cement what you've learned

Get your questions answered
with our live webinars, discussion forums, and Zoom meetups

Design faster with our tools
Our Draft Editor and Twill Generator make designing a breeze

Join a friendly community
get help, connect, and share what you're doing with fellow weavers

Weave better and more enjoyably
with our Weavers Toolbox full of tips and techniques for creating cloth

Crunch your numbers quickly
A collection of calculators to take the guesswork out of weaving math

Step up your weaving with us.

“The Academy allows you to go from a tentative “follow the directions” beginner to a bold and confident weaver. The Academy is accessible and all questions are answered with kindness and knowledge!” ‘

– Debbie West

What you'll get

No hidden content, nothing extra to pay.

With one membership, you get access to everything.

Here’s what you’ll get in the Academy:

Here are some of the topics you could explore:

We support you in every part of your weaving life

“The Academy is the greatest place to meet like-minded people from all over the world.
A place to share your love and ideas of weaving. Learn by doing, listening to others talk about the mistakes they make, and learning from them. Sharing of ideas, for the next project or projects. 

Janet and Tien have been so helpful and accessible and let you figure things out on your own by giving you the tools you need to do so. I love the Academy.”

– Sandy Lincoln

Create with confidence

We weave design know-how and technical skills together so you can finally create the cloth you envisioned.

We offer workshops focused on putting knowledge into practice, powerful design tools, and direct access to weaving instructors and a global community of weavers.

Not sure if The Handweaving Academy is for you?

Try us - free!



Access to all courses
New classes every month
Live Lecture every month
Live Q&As with Tien & Janet
Design Sessions with Tien
Office Hours with Janet
Tools for designing your own weaving
Weaving-focused discussion forums
Peer Support Sessions with fellow weavers
Monthly Weaving Help group meetings with fellow weavers
What our members say about us

“I would recommend the Handweaving Academy classes to any weaver, even those with only basic weaving knowledge, who would like to learn how to use color and weaving structures, to get the most out of their woven projects.

I could have used this kind of instruction years ago.” – Sonia Kamel

The teaching is clear and concise. It’s visual as well as verbal. I’ve never felt like a question was unwarranted or stupid, although I’ve probably asked a few of those! And you don’t have to buy a kit. You use what you’ve got, and you develop your own skills at your own pace and level. – Courtney Mitchell

The Academy is comprehensive. It’s not like going to a three-day workshop where you learn one kind of thing. For less than the price of a workshop, you get an entire year of all kinds of different learning experiences. It’s like ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’. – Joy Pate

“What I like about the Academy is that it’s always available when I need it; there’s a wide range of expert knowledge in a helpful, friendly atmosphere.” – Mary Wood

I want to weave things that my relatives will say, 50 years from now, “Oh! That was Grandma’s work.” With singers and musicians, you can always tell a person who has put a piece of their soul into their music. It comes out in the music.

The Academy teaches us how to put that piece of our soul into our weaving. To not be like everybody else. To stop following textbook formulas, and put ourselves into our weaving. – Joy Hogg


Got questions? We’ve got answers!

We focus on design. At the Academy, you’ll learn how to create projects that thrill you. We’re not about kits or imitating your instructor. You’ll design and weave cloth that suits your taste and style.

We connect areas of weaving knowledge. Other weaving schools offer bits and pieces. At the Academy, you’ll learn how to integrate what you’ve learned about weave structure, color, and project design. Then you can create the exciting project you envisioned.

We support our students. No “here’s a video, figure out the rest yourself”. You get direct access to instructors, with live lectures, THREE live Q&A sessions per month, and discussion forums where you can get help from your instructors or other weavers.

Finally, we offer tools and calculators to make designing a breeze.

Both! The lessons are prerecorded and you can access them any time, day or night. Learn whenever is convenient for you! They’re a combination of text, hands-on exercises, and video demonstrations.

We also have six live sessions every month:

  • The Live Lecture goes in-depth into the current course
  • Live Q&ADesign Sessions with Tien, and Office Hours with Janet give you a chance to get your questions answered -live! 
  • Website and Tools Help – especially useful if you’re new!
  • Two Peer Support meetups every month to connect with other weavers

(Note: Design Sessions with Tien and Office Hours with Janet take place in alternating months.)

All the webinars, except the Peer support sessions, are recorded, captioned, and transcribed for those who can’t make it live. 

Finally, we have 24/7 discussion forums for each class, where you can share your work, ask questions about class material, and get inspired by seeing what others have done.

Lots of them! Color, weave structure, project design are our main categories. We also offer rigid heddle classes.

You can check our entire course roadmap, here.

You can access the Handweaving Academy from any web browser. PC, tablet, phone – if it runs a web browser, you can access the Academy with it.

If you are planning on doing the online exercises, particularly with the Draft or Color Editors, we recommend using either a computer/laptop with a mouse, or a tablet with a stylus – it will make designing a lot easier.

Our courses typically have examples and drafts for 4 or 8-shaft looms. However, we also include ways to extend the concepts to looms with more than eight shafts, so weavers with lots of shafts will find plenty here.

We’ve also got courses especially for rigid heddle weavers! Plus, many of our classes, particularly the color ones, apply equally well to rigid heddle and shaft looms.

No worries! All our live webinars are recorded, captioned, and transcribed. We also split up the webinars into “chapters” to make it easier to find the parts that interest you.

Peer Support meetups are not recorded, to preserve the privacy of the participants, but a summary of each session is posted in the forums if you’d like to know what happened, or to continue the conversation.

You have access to everything – courses, tools, live events, discussion forums – as long as you’re a member of the Academy.

You can cancel at any time during your free trial. After the free trial is over, you’ll be charged the regular membership fee.

But no worries – we’ll send you several reminders before the end of the trial, with instructions for cancellation if you don’t want to continue.

We’re happy to answer your questions! Just email us at .

Start designing projects that thrill you

“Classes are amazing and more in-depth than other courses I have done. I love the encouragement to think for ourselves, to plan and organise. I truly have discovered my love for colour and design!”

– Dayamitra Blenman

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