This course first studies the textile traditions of the Near East by considering Ancient Egypt and its great linen manufactories, and the silk guilds of the Byzantine Empire, as well as tracing the influence of Sassanian designs. Cotton and the central role it played in the struggle for Indian independence is highlighted as we move further east to consider the evolution of the Dragon Robes of China and the kimonos of Japan. This study concludes with textile designs and tapestries produced in Medieval and Renaissance Europe where the important contributions of such leading artists as Raphael and Rubens are fully considered.