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Old Market Manor, Barton Manor
Bristol, BS2 0RL

Artisan natural dye studio, using locally foraged and organically grown natural dyes, bio-regionally sourced cloth and paper and low impact traditional and contemporary printmaking techniques. Offering limited edition gifts, bespoke services and a range of workshops to help creatives transition to using non-toxic practices and connecting communities with Nature using creativity as a medium.


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SOLD OUT!! - 5 WEEK COURSE: An Introduction to Natural Dyeing Techniques @Plymouth College Of Art

  • Plymouth College of Art (map)

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5 Week Natural Dyes Course, from Botanical Inks founder, Babs Behan.

For those looking to broaden their understanding and experience of using natural dyes to ecologically transform textiles with colour and a range of contemporary traditional printmaking techniques. The course provides a platform for transitioning to using more sustainable processes and is unlike any other currently on offer in the UK.

This course teaches the full plant to print journey, looking at how to identify, harvest and responsibly source natural dyes. How to extract colour from plants and make dyes, natural mordants and modifiers, to dye meterage of cloth and paper, using the hot or cold dye pot technique for adjective and substantive dyes, and also vat dyeing with indigo. Along with a range of surface application techniques, which complement the natural materials and have a minimal impact on the environment. Including block printing, screen printing, bundle dyeing, Hapazome printing and Shibori resist dyeing.

Only organic and recycled materials are used in these classes, and no toxic, synthetic chemicals or heavy metals whatsoever, as part of a non-toxic, closed-loop, creative practice using renewable natural materials.

Each week provides an introduction to a different natural dyeing technique.

Week 1: The Art Of Natural Dyes: sourcing+harvesting, dye extraction techniques (hot/cold/solar/all-in-one), dye techniques (hot, cold and solar) for adjective, substantive and vat dyes, mordanting and modifying with plant and mineral materials. Make a collection of colour swatch samples with different natural fibre textiles. Dye a length of cloth. Finishing and after care.

Week 2: Shibori with natural dyes. Learn how to create repeat patterns with resist dyeing, inspired by the ancient art of Japanese Shibori. Using reclaimed wooden blocks, clamps, string, bands and thread, you will practice a range of techniques to create different patterns. In the morning you will make a collection of samples showing different techniques to create different patters. A final piece will be made at the end of the day, using a length of cloth to make a shibori dyed scarf with your preferred technique.

Week 3: Bundle dyeing + Hapazome with flowers and plants. Including organically grown flowers, vegetables, waste foods, locally grown and foraged plants, traditional dye pigments and powders. Make a series of colour and pattern test swatch samples followed by a final piece on a 1m length of organically grown British silk.

Week 4: Block Printing with natural dyes.In the first half of the day we look at how block printing has been used historically and in contemporary craft. We will also look at indigenous block printing styles around the globe which use natural dye inks. After this we mix up our printing inks and design and carve printing blocks. You will practise the print process on a variety of textiles, to understand how they behave differently and to test a few different colours. You will have a collection of swatches to keep. Finally, you will print your own length of cloth using your choice of ink colour.

Week 5: Screen Printing with natural dyes. We will start with an induction to using the screen printing studio. Following this, you will prepare your textiles for printing and be shown how to mix your own screen printing inks with natural dyes and plant starches. There will be some design time, to draw and cut paper stencils for printmaking with. You will make some colour test swatches with different textiles and finally print your own length of fabric using your stencil design.

Notes: A length of organic British silk, or other natural fibre cloth, will be provided and included in each class for each participant to use. There will also be more available to buy at an additional cost, (Organic British grown silk is available at £28 per metre, or by the 1/2 metre).

Dates: 25/04/17 + 02/05/17 + 09/05/17 + 16/05/17 + 23/05/17

Times: 6-9pm each evening.

******************************* THIS COURSE IS NOW SOLD OUT ***********************************