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Workshops

Natural Dyeing Workshops

 

BE CREATIVE!                GET INSPIRED!              SURPRISE YOURSELF!

2019 Workshops

I like to plan wherever possible for folk to explore the dye garden before turning their attention to the dyeing process. Therefore I prefer to run these workshops during the summer months. I like to discuss the cultivation of a dye garden and give tips on growing and perhaps help you develop your own dye garden at home.

An important aspect of my natural dyeing workshops is to provide students with knowledge and confidence to continue on their own, using locally sourced products as far as possible or indeed to encourage them to grow their own dye plants.

This series of workshops offers a wonderful introduction to the amazing world of natural dyes.

Each workshop involves practical hand-on involvement which can be messy, therefore I recommend that you wear old clothes and bring a waterproof apron.

During the workshops you will dye a silk scarf and 50g of alpaca fibre or yarn for you to take home and use as you wish.

I hope the workshops will give you an opportunity to discover your own creativity and inspire you.

In Medieval Britain the earliest dyes used were:

  • Madder – producing an orange/red colour
  • Woad – producing an inky blue colour
  • Weld – producing a yellow colour

Therefore the dyes I have chosen to grow and use are ancient dyes – all natural, with excellent light and wash-fast qualities.

There is tremendous satisfaction in being self-sufficient and growing your own dye plants.

 

DYEING WITH MADDER = RUSTY REDS

Madder is a perennial climbing plant. The roots can be over three feet long and are usually harvested in the third or fourth year of growth. It is considered an ancient or heirloom dye plant. It has been used throughout history for the brilliant orange and red hues it can produce.

Textiles dyed with madder have been discovered in archaeological sites, tombs and graves dating back to the ancient Egyptians.

All parts of the plant contain the pigment alizarin, but the roots have the greatest concentration. The famous red – called Turkey Red was produced using the madder root.

During the workshop i will show you how to produce a deep red/orange from this coarse and sprawling plant.

Madder is easy to grow but can be difficult to start from seed, so another bonus of this workshop is that you can – if you wish, take home with you half a dozen rooted plants for you to add to your own dye garden or to encourage you to start one of your own!

Sorry, this workshop is full. Another date will be confirmed soon so come back in the future.

 

DYEING WITH WELD = YUMMY YELLOWS

Weld is an ancient dye, said to have been used to dye the robes of the Vestal Virgins in Roman Times.

Weld produces an outstanding yellow on all protein fibres.During this workshop I will show you how to create beautiful, lightfast and washfast yellows from this humble but amazing plant.

When over-dyed with woad it produces an outstanding green which is aid to have been used to dye the clothes of Robin Hood and his Merry Men in the 13th century.

Sorry, this workshop is full. Another date will be confirmed soon so come back in the future.

 

DYEING WITH WOAD AND INDIGO = BEAUTIFUL BLUES

Woad has a long association with East Anglia, in particular with Boudicca and the Iceni tribe who painted their faces with woad to make them look fierce before going into battle!

The blue pigment in woad is the same as indigo but not as concentrated.

Dyeing with woad and indigo never ceases to amaze me!

This workshop will include discussion on indigo natural fermentation vats and how to maintain them. I have a vat which is still active after 4 years. I will demonstrate various samples using my fermentation vat and you will see for yourselves the magic of this amazing dye. However, it does take time for a fermentation vat to work, therefore it will not be possible for you to make such a vat for you to take home with you, but if you would like to, you could buy the “ingredients” from me to start your own vat when you return home.

I will also explain how you can dry the woad pigment for permanent storage to be used at a later date. I will also demonstrate over-dyeing weld over woad to produce gorgeous greens. Again you will have the opportunity to dye your own samples to take home.

Sorry, this workshop is full. Another date will be confirmed soon so come back in the future.

Tea, coffee and cake provided – please bring your own packed lunch

I HAVE NATURAL DYES AND DYE SEEDS FOR SALE

 

SHIBORI and INDIGO DYEING FOR BEGINNERS

Shibori is an ancient Japanese craft of dyeing fabric using various shaped resist techniques. Some of these techniques are comonly known in the West as tie dyeing.The various techniques in traditional shibori involve binding, folding, stitching, twisting and compressing in order to create a variety of patterns.

The workshop will involve making your own indigo vat (natural indigo).

I will demonstrate three different techniques for you to choose and apply to your own piece. –  a habotai 8 silk scarf – included in the cost of the workshop for you to take home.

Additional scarves may be purchased if you wish to make more than one piece. 

1. Ne-Maki – which involves binding cloth around round objects like beads or pebbles. 

2. Arashi – which involves wrapping cloth around a pole or other cylindrical object and binding it tightly with thread and pushing it down the pole.

3. Itajime – which involves folding the fabric into a wedge or square. The way you fold the fabric will affect the pattern. Once folded the fabric is clamped before dipping.

Sorry, this workshop is full. Another date will be confirmed soon so come back in the future.

 

PEG LOOM WEAVING WORKSHOP

Beginners course – no previous knowledge required. All materials and equipment provided.

A great opportunity to learn this ancient and simple skill of handweaving on a traditional peg loom.

It is a craft that is open to all – affordable – ready accessible and absorbing.

It is a wonderful antidote to the technology that surrounds us today. 

Once you have mastered the simple basic principles of peg loom weaving you will be amazed to discover how just about anything can be used to weave on your loom. Left over wool can be used and colours mixed. Fine yarn can be combined together for a thicker yarn. Lengths of material can be cut into long strips one and a half inches wide or old towels can be cut and woven to make bath mats. 

Pieces of work can be sewn together to make cosy winter throws. You can make – bags – wall hangings – cushion covers – table runners and so much more! 

On this workshop you will learn how to thread the loom and weave a simple place mat to take home.

If you love the technique you will be able to purchase your peg loom for £20 if you wish.

Sorry, this workshop is full. Another date will be confirmed soon so come back in the future.

 

WET FELTING WORKSHOPS

Feltmaking is a wonderful hobby. It is fun and affordable. it requires very little equipment and is easy to do at home. Once you understand the basics of wet feltmaking you can use it to make bags, purses, scarves, slippers, jewellery, bunting, hats, wrist warmers, wall hangings, table runners, cushion covers, lampshades, shawls, jackets and so much more. It’s totally addictive!

INTRODUCTION TO WET FELTING

The wet felting workshops are designed as a fascinating and enjoyable introduction to this ancient craft.

Learn how to make a flat piece of felt using the wet felting method. Participants will come away with a simple flat piece and can choose to make a cushion front, a wall hanging or table mats.

Sorry, this workshop is full. Another date will be confirmed soon so come back in the future.

If you have any questions about the workshops or would like to book a place please email me:  [email protected] or call on 07971 457 184

I am sometimes approached by folk who prefer a one to one lesson – if this is something you might be interested in please contact me to arrange a mutually convenient day/time.

£25.00 per hour.

A 50%  non returnable deposit is required with the booking. The balance is due 2 weeks before the workshop date.