At Botanical Inks we use a range of natural dye surface application techniques to create exciting contemporary textiles and fashion.
Our processes use only plant materials and minerals along with natural fibres, without any toxic synthetic chemicals or heavy metals at all. Occasionally we will use insects dyes, such as Cochineal and Lac.
BUNDLE DYEING or ECO-PRINTING
Bundle dyeing, also known as eco-printing, is an exciting contemporary natural dye technique, for creating unique repeat patterns on cloth, without the need for extraction or the dye pot.
This practise may use fresh, dried or frozen flowers and plant materials to create designs which have been described as psychedelic and ethereal.
Classes vary and some include seasonal organic, locally grown flowers and plants, while other classes foreign varieties. We like to do longer day workshops which include on-site harvesting too.
Find out more here.
SHIBORI TIE-DYEING with local, seasonal plants
Shibori is an ancient Japanese fold and bind technique for creating resist repeat patterns on cloth. In this class we use dyes which we have made from locally foraged dye plants, freshly harvested and extracted for their colourfast hues, prior to the class. In longer classes, we can include the foraging and/or dye-making processes too.
See more here.
Hapazome is a fun method for direct printing with leaves and flowers, using a rubber mallet, or other household item, to transfer botanical inks from plant materials into cloth and paper.
This class may sometimes include a foraging element.
ORGANIC INDIGO "SUGAR VAT" DYEING + SHIBORI
Using the simple 3-ingredient Sugar Vat recipe developed by master dyer, Michel Garcia. We use lime, sugar and organic indigo to make a super quick and easy indigo vat, using only natural ingredients. We can provide different classes which teach the vat preparation, the dye process and/or also include Shibori tie-dyeing techniques.
THE ART OF NATURAL DYES using local, seasonal plants
Learn about natural dyes; a brief intro to their historical and contemporary uses in the UK and worldwide, how to identify, harvest and prepare natural dye plants and mordants, extract colours, create natural dyes, mordants and modifiers, and dye textiles for colourfast results, using only natural materials and no toxic, synthetic chemicals.
COLOUR FORAGING WALKS
Develop eco-literacy and connect with nature in a new way on a colour foraging walk. You will learn to identify local colour-producing plants, how to harvest them responsibly and have an intro to seasonal variations, natural dyeing techniques, natural mordants and modifiers.
BLOCK PRINTING WITH NATURAL DYES
Use reclaimed wood printing blocks and natural dye printing inks, made with only plant materials and no toxic, synthetic chemicals, to hand print beautiful motifs and repeat patterns on cloth and paper surfaces. Workshops can include lengths of organic British-grown silk, surplus organic cotton or linen, organic fair-trade tote bags or t-shirts.
SCREEN PRINTING WITH NATURAL DYES
Use traditional silk screen printing techniques with natural dye printing inks, made with plant starches and no toxic, synthetic chemicals. Depending on class variations, we may include different elements of foraging and making natural dyes, making printing inks with natural dyes, designing prints and screen printing techniques.
RESIST SCREEN PRINTING with Indigo or other natural dyes
Use natural resist pastes made from flour or clay to screen-print resist motifs and repeat patterns on cloth for dyeing.
The resist paste is removed after dyeing to reveal areas which have retained the original colour of the cloth prior to dyeing.