Learn about dyeing with ecologically sound low impact sources of colour from plants and simple household ingredients, as well as historic dyestuffs. Ancient and modern recipes will be used to obtain brilliant colours that are light and washfast. Woad, Saffron, Tansy and dead flower heads are some of the plants that will be used to colour samples of wool, silk and cottons, with the opportunity to experiment and sample some of the unusual sources of plants in West Dean’s incredible kitchen and flower gardens.

You will learn individual recipes and techniques as well as generic methods that can be used for a wide variety of natural materials. This will include how to achieve a particular predicted colour and how to create ranges of matching shades from one dyestuff by using different mordants and after baths.

Skeins and fabric pieces will be provided by the tutor for dyeing and making into a sample and recipe book. You may bring limited quantities of materials for experimentation and piece dyeing.

The dyestuffs covered will be: Woad and Indigo for blues, using an organic fermentation recipe Madder Safflower and Sappan (Brazil) for reds and pinks Weld, Buckthorn, Saffron and Goldenrod for yellows Alkanet and Logwood for greys and purples Plus easily grown garden plants and some household food waste and compost

Tutor: Penny Walsh

Cost: £340

West Dean College
Nr Chichester
West Sussex
PO18 0QZ

More information: Natural Dyeing – West Dean College