What is the course about?
A contemporary and very practical look at how natural dye processes can be part of the solution to sustainably colour textiles.
To expand awareness of the principles that modern textile designers use when sourcing and researching the environmental credentials of natural dye colours and fabrics.
There will be plenty of opportunities to explore personal design ideas, and make samples in response to the themes of the course.
Each session will involve demonstrations of techniques, to encourage learners to develop colour mixing skills, and an in-depth exploration of processes.
By the end of the course you will have identified key characteristics regarding the sustainable use of natural dye colour and choice of textile materials in your personal practice.
Learners will be encouraged to conduct research and extend their skills whilst creating samples for fashion, art, or interior applications.
What will we cover?
- Approaches to sourcing sustainable textile materials and colours; provenance, lifecycles, water and heat usage, safety and ethics
- Detailed use of natural dye techniques for textiles and related materials; paper, wool, silk, hemp, wood, and bamboo
- Creating natural colours; sourcing, mixing, and matching for print and dye purposes
- Controlled exploration of colour modifiers; acids, alkali’s, and Iron
- Production and extraction of natural dye colours; foraging, collecting, saving, bio-waste
- Respond to the potential of new advances in the production of textile fabrics and colouration
- Planning how to progress and continue with personal colour projects.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Research, source, and use fabrics and colours responsibly, sustainably and ethically.
- Demonstrate skills in colour matching and production.
- Confidently use natural dye colours in a variety of chosen processes; screen print, polychromatic print, botanical ink painting, solar dye.
- Experienced how to use natural dyes with a diverse range of materials and fabrics.
- Evaluate and choose best practice tools and methods for sustainable natural dye design projects.
- Respond to design opportunities produced by sustainable research into fabrics and natural dyes
- Independently continue working with the techniques; in another setting, or in a small studio.
- Create work or samples that demonstrate the sustainable ideas researched during the course.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
There will be the expectation that you have previous experience of working with natural dyes and textiles.
Suitable for natural dye enthusiasts who wish to extend and progress their knowledge.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Practical demonstrations to the group, and to individuals.
Group discussions and feedback are encouraged.
A range of books and samples will be available to inspire and inform learning and progress.
Handouts will be available for technical methods.
The use of a sketchbook/notebook to write down methods and references will be encouraged.
There will be suggestions made for work outside the class, but it will not be obligatory.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
All the basic materials and dyes will be provided, for making a small range of samples.
Students may wish to bring extra pieces of fabric to supplement and add contrast to the fabric provided. Natural fibres be the most successful (cotton, linen, silk, wool, hemp).
We will discuss fabrics and dye materials on the first session.
A notebook for making a dye reference book. A4 is a good size; lined or plain.
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?
VX447 Textiles: manipulation
VX448 Textiles: mixed media embellishment
VX442 Textiles: digital surfaces.