Weave it your way

Want to design attractive, original projects…but struggle to get results you like?

Learn to design your own projects in just two weeks

Weave it your way

Want to design attractive, original projects…but struggle to get results you like?

Learn to design your own projects in just two weeks

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.


But you can do more than that.

Create the projects you've only dreamed of.

You can design projects that reflect your personal taste and style, projects that achieve 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 SO.

Here's a piece from one of our students,
who started from just an inspirational photo.

She had been weaving for only three years.

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.

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 attractive 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 you love, 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 the basics of design in just 14 days with The Handweaving Academy

In our two-week introductory class, you’ll learn how to design your own project starting from a draft:

Pick draft, dimensions, and yarns
Calculate sett and number of warp and weft threads

Draft the perfect threading
Create repeats and mirrors, and adjust borders to get the dimensions you want

Design an ideal treadling
Brainstorm variations and adjust repeats to create a design you'll love.

Create colorful stripes
Color in your draft with the perfect, coordinating stripe pattern

Pick the best weft color
Choose a weft color that enhances your warp and keeps colors bright

Do all the project math
Peace of mind knowing you've got ample yarn for your project

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

You’ll also get full access to the whole Academy

No hidden content, nothing extra to pay.

For three weeks, you get access to everything.

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

Here are some of the topics you could explore:

You'll find lots of tools to make design easier, plus friendly forums, peer support sessions, and Q&As to answer your questions.

“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

Start learning design for just $7

No commitment, and no recurring charges.

We won’t bill your credit card again unless you sign up at the end of the class.

For only $7, here’s what you get:

Learn to design a project from a draft, in just two weeks

Draft your perfect threading

Design your favorite treadling

Create warp stripes that enhance your draft

Pick the perfect weft color

Crunch your project calculations

Change project dimensions and yarn size

Full Academy access for THREE weeks

In-depth classes on everything weaving

Quick answers in our Weavers Toolbox

Easy-to-use design tools

Forums for connecting with other weavers

Live lectures and Q&As

Peer support group meetings

What our members say about us

“For anyone who would like to deepen their weaving knowledge and expand their skills, you have the opportunity to develop your creativity with feedback from a very supportive community, The Handweaving Academy is the right choice for you. I can’t say enough about what I have gained by being a member.” – Charlene Schmidt

“I would recommend the HA 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

“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

“The Handweaving Academy is full of information that you can take to your design process and weaving right now. I love the included tools because they reduce errors and speed up the time to get to the loom.” – Amber

“I love that I can read, and reread. I love that I can do one or more lessons or stop in the middle, and come back later, or skip a portion and go on, and come back eventually.

It’s great you are coming at this from so many directions. Written words, pictures, the video clips. And for me I learn a lot by doing. So I’ve really appreciated the live color editor exercises. You don’t just tell me how, you let me try it!” – C.G.

Got questions? We’ve got answers!

Any time you want! 

The lessons are prerecorded, and the class runs for 14 days after you sign up. As soon as you sign up, you’ll get the first lesson, and the others will release every other day. You’ll get an email reminder when a new lesson is released.

After all the lessons are released, you’ll have an extra week to finish the class, explore the Academy, or both!

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.


The lessons will be released every other day for the first two weeks. Once they’ve been released, you can access them any time, day or night. They’re a combination of text, hands-on exercises, and video demonstrations.

After the last lesson is released, you’ll have an extra week of access to everything in the Academy, including the starter class.

We also have five live sessions every month:

  • The Peer Support: Design Help and Peer Support: Weaving Help sessions are available to all membership levels.
  • The Live LectureLive Q&ADesign Sessions with Tien, and Office Hours with Janet sessions are available only to Premium members. (Design Sessions with Tien and Office Hours with Janet take place in alternating months.)

For three weeks, you’ll have access to everything at the Premium level, including recordings of all webinars.

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.

You’ll have access to the class – and the rest of the Academy – for 21 days. At the end of that time, you’ll need to subscribe to continue access.

You can only sign up for the $7 trial once, but you can always subscribe to the Academy to renew access to the course. It’s available to all of our members, any time!

No. We won’t charge you anything more unless you sign up for the Academy at the end of your trial. No hidden charges, and no unwanted signups!

This introductory class is focused on shaft-loom weaving, but we have an entire rigid heddle curriculum you can explore instead! Your $7 gets you access to all these classes for 14 days.

We are planning to add a rigid heddle introductory class soon!

We’re happy to answer your questions! Just email us at hello@handweavingacademy.com .

Start designing projects you'll love

Only $7

“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 Saraswati

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