Although I've been dyeing with indigo for a number of years its only in the last eighteen months that I've started dyeing with natural dyes. The colours are so much purer and more organic than chemical dyes and work really well with the vintage French linen and kimono silk I use.
In the spring of 2016 I went on a week's intensive natural dyeing class at Lostwithiel in Cornwall with renowned French natural dyeing guru, Michel Garcia. We packed a lot in and I came away with a beautiful sample book full of wonderful coloured scraps of silk, cotton and wool.
I learned about the different mordants that can be used and which work best on which fabrics, alum for silk, aluminium acetate for cotton and linen and how to modify colours with iron.
I'd always loved colour but now I was truly hooked!
I discovered Wild Colours and later George Weil as suppliers of natural dyes and have been experimenting ever since. I also went a bit crazy and bought loads of books...
I can highly recommend "Wild Color: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes" by Jenny Dean and, of course, India Flint's beautiful book "Eco Colour" which will also take you into the world of bundles. (There's a whole other post there!)
I now teach Natural Dyeing classes myself. If you are interested click on the button below to find out more.
Last year I was part of a popup exhibition at Craft Central called "Colour Saturation" so put my new found natural dyeing skills to work making the "Love Quilt" which you can see above made using many natural dye colours and taking the motif of hearts. I made many different shibori hearts for this work and it really was a labour of love! It will be on display as part of "Curve" from the Muswell Hill Creatives at the Ply Gallery from 5th to 10th October 2017 and is free to view. For more information see the events page.