• UCA Logo

The History and Culture of Chinese Silk

Delve into the origins and development of Chinese silk to understand its history, cultural heritage, and place in modern China.

672 enrolled on this course

Silk is an important symbol of ancient Chinese culture. It is also an important part of traditional Chinese culture. Understanding Chinese silk will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of the art and culture that characterises contemporary China.

The History and Culture of Chinese Silk

672 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Unpack sericulture and silk craftsmanship in China

As one of the origins of textile culture, China is characterised by silk. The unique sericulture and silk craftsmanship from China is firmly embedded in its cultural heritage. In modern China, silk is not only a fibre material, but also permeates art, culture, economy, and even politics.

On this three-week course, you’ll gain a solid understanding of the silk culture and art that characterises China from a material culture perspective.

You’ll unpack the origins and legends of Chinese silk as you discover exciting archaeological finds and explore Chinese history.

Gain an introduction to the silk road

From the second century BCE, the silk road was a network of routes active for more than 1,500 years.

You’ll explore the silk routes on the road to understand the full scale of this important trade route and how it impacted the Chinese economy.

Explore silk weaving and patterns

Next, you’ll delve into the evolution and development of silk weaving techniques.

You’ll also discover the characteristics of ancient Chinese silk patterns from different dynasties through the years to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese history.

Learn from the experts at the University for the Creative Arts

Throughout the course, you’ll be guided by the specialists at the University for the Creative Arts.

With their expertise, you’ll finish with in-depth knowledge of Chinese silk, its history, and its importance in Chinese culture.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Getting started

    • Welcome to the course

      Silk is an important part of traditional Chinese culture. Understanding the history and culture of Chinese silk will enable students to gain a deeper understanding of contemporary Chinese identity in art and culture.

    • The origin of the Chinese silk

      Reasons for the origin of silk in China, archaeological evidence and silk-related legends and cultural traditions.

    • Summary of Week 1

      This week we have been learning about the origins of silk, so let's recap what we have learnt.

  • Week 2

    Chinese silk road

    • Introduction to the Silk Road and how it spread

      Methods and routes of spread along the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road.

    • Maritime Silk Road

      Overview of the Maritime Silk Road from China.

    • Grassland Silk Road

      Introduction of grassland silk road.

    • Summary of Week 2

      This week we have been learning about the Silk Road on the Road and the Silk Road on the Sea. Let's take a look back at what countries were involved in the Silk Road.

  • Week 3

    The development of silk patterns and changes in weaving techniques

    • The evolution and development of silk weaving techniques

      An overview of the development of silk weaving techniques and an introduction to the three most famous Chinese brocades: Shu brocade, Song brocade and Yun brocade.

    • Characteristics of Ancient Chinese Silk Patterns (Part I)

      Characteristics of Silk Patterns in the Spring and Autumn, Qin and Han dynasties.

    • Characteristics of Ancient Chinese Silk Patterns (Part II)

      Characteristics of silk patterns in the Tang and Song dynasties.

    • Characteristics of Ancient Chinese Silk Patterns (Part III)

      Characteristics of silk patterns in the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.

    • Summary of Week 3

      This week we have studied the characteristics of Chinese silk patterns at different stages of history, so let's review what we have learnt and try to find traces of these traditional patterns in modern clothing.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of Chinese silk culture.
  • Classify the artistic features of silk patterns from different dynasties.
  • Describe the Silk Road.
  • Summarise the development of silk weaving techniques.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in Chinese silk, silk history and culture, and the evolution of textile techniques in different historical periods.

It will be particularly useful for textile students.

Who will you learn with?

PhD student of UCA, textile designer and researcher

Who developed the course?

University for the Creative Arts

We believe creativity makes communities more vibrant, innovative, human.

So, we support every UCA student to forge their own path, using their creativity to make a difference in their studies and into their careers to help establish a better world.

  • Established

    2008

Ways to learn

Subscribe & save

Buy this course

Limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

$54/one-off payment

Free

Develop skills to further your careerFulfill your current learning needSample the course materials
Access to this courseticktick

Access expires 5 Aug 2024

Access to 1,000+ coursestickcrosscross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Certificate when you're eligibleDigital onlyPrinted and digitalcross
Continue & Upgrade

Cancel for free anytime

Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$54/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 5 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...