What is the course about?
Enrich your textiles with an exciting week of dye workshops. Learn how to colour a wide range of natural fabrics; linen, cotton, silk, and wool. The structure of the course is ideal for beginners, or students whose skills may be rusty. The course will cover the basic elements of dyeing; shibori and dip-dye, simple natural dye techniques, Dyeing mixed fibers, and indigo vat.
Each session will involve demonstrations of new techniques, to enable students to understand how to mix dye-baths for themselves. There will be plenty of opportunities to practice dyeing small sample pieces of fabric or hanks of hanks of yarn. By the end of the course you will have created a collection of dyed samples, and started to make a unique dye reference book.
What will we cover?
- Types of fibres, and use of the correct dyes.
- Begin to match dye baths to colour swatches.
- Understanding chemical dye auxiliaries, and how to mix and use procion and acid dyes.
- Simple natural dyes and mordants.
- Mixing and using a synthetic indigo vat.
- Procedure for using the dyes safely.
- Shibori and dip-dye techniques.
- Making a dye reference book.
- Looking at dyestuffs in historical and contemporary context.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Recognise some different types of fibres, and know which dyes are suitable to use.
- Use a variety of dyes on a wide range of natural fibres.
- Select dye shades, in order to obtain more specific colour matches.
- Describe the differences between synthetic and natural dyes, and the unique dye properties of indigo.
- Safely mix and use dyes, and dye auxiliary chemicals.
- Make simple fold, pleat and wrap shibori patterns.
- Make a dye reference book.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is for beginners. It is suitable for students new to textiles as well as for those who may have experience in other areas of textiles and who want to add another skill set.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through practical demonstrations both to the group and to individuals. Group discussions and feedback are encouraged.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Colour inspiration, if you want to try matching dye colours.
All basic material to dye will be provided, but you may wish to bring some extra pieces of fabric to supplement and add contrast to the fabric provided. Natural fibers will dye the most successfully (cotton, linen, silk, wool). Apron and gloves (there are some available to borrow). Wear sturdy shoes and old clothes – be prepared to get messy!
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
VX337 Experimental screen printing for textiles
VX341 Embroidery and embellishment for fashion and textiles
VX488 Textiles: mixed media embellishment.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details