Saturday, 23 July 2011

Natural Dye Workshop

Last Saturday I taught a Natural Dyeing workshop at Unique Cottage Farm Studio. It is a workshop I enjoy teaching, especially  if we can get outside on a hot July Summer day. Not this time, it rained heavily all day and despite being confined to the studio progress was good and we used eight different natural dye products throughout the day. Some were native to this country, others like Logwood chips had been harvested in other parts of the world. I do always make sure that I buy things from a reputable source though. It is a good class as we cover dyeing with flower heads, powdered roots, bark and wood chips as well as the tiny Cochineal bug.
Julie and Kat, can't remember what was in that pan though.
In the studio
The washing line was full of samples I had brought with me. The clothes dryer was becoming full of the samples from the pans.
The cochineal pan, Nigel had the job of crushing them before dyeing.
On the day we dyed with dry daffodil heads, these are marigold heads from a previous session.
The Brazilwood pan, can't nature produce amazing colours?
Birch bark before being added to water.

And finally a rescue. On Wednesday Simba cat had been very interested in a baby sparrow. A short while later I saw him looking very smug with a very full mouth (think hamster). I realised that anything in his mouth would be dead but couldn't bear the thought of him eating anything with feathers. After catching him I made him give up his mouthful and imagine my surprise when instead of sparrow I discovered tiny mouse. It looked very dead and was placed in a container until I could dispose of it without the cat seeing him. When DS came in from school the mouse started to jump up and down in the container very much alive. DS then took it into the cornfield in front of the house and realised it (cue Born Free music), I couldn't resist sharing this photo of the tiny tiny mouse.


  1. I'm pretty sure that was the logwood we were brewing in the afternoon session. I enjoyed seeing th ephotos, it's about time I blogged it myself! I had a great day, thank you.

  2. Natural dyeing is so much fun:) First time I did that I used the obligatory onion Skins after that....everything that would remotely bleed colour:) Looks like everyone had an enjoyable day

  3. had a good day...hope to have made my samples into something, by the time I next see you.

  4. Your natural dyes are gorgeous, especially the brazil wood. I used to live near Spalding as a child, I've been back a few times but still love seeing and reading about it, being so far away now.


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