Textiles: natural dyeing with bio-materials and kitchen waste

Course Dates: 21/04/21 - 12/05/21
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
Location: Online
Tutors: 
Explore plant materials that are in your locality as a sustainable and safe method of dyeing fabric at home. Use bio-waste from kitchen peelings and leaves, or environmentally foraged plants, to produce colour-rich textiles.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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SKU
184959
Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00

Course Code: VO107

Wed, day, 21 Apr - 12 May '21

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

To increase awareness of sustainable natural dye colour techniques and teach the skills to practice and explore at home. You will enrich your textiles by learning how to produce beautiful and harmonious colours from bio-waste kitchen ingredients. Exciting results will be derived from easily available household ingredients; such as avocado stones, red cabbage peel, coffee grinds, berries, and onion skins.

The structure of the course is ideal for textile designers, artists or students wish to learn a wider array of natural dye techniques. The course will cover the basic elements of natural dyeing; collecting, extracting and utilizing the dyes. The role of mordents and colour modifiers made from kitchen ingredients will also be discussed and applied. You will be dyeing a range of natural fibers, and these could include silk, cotton, bamboo, paper, and wool.

Each session will involve demonstrations of new techniques, to enable students to understand how to collect, use, mix, and explore natural dyes for themselves. There will be plenty of opportunities to practice dyeing pieces of fabric, followed by interactive questions and group presentations. Students will be encouraged to research contemporary natural dye practitioners, and share their findings.

By the end of the course you will have created a technical file, and a collection of fabrics dyed with locally sourced bio-materials or found plant materials.


We will close the course one day before class starts to enable learners to collect materials for use.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- Collecting natural dye ingredients from kitchen bio-waste and locally foraged plants.
- Approaches to sourcing sustainable natural dye colours; provenance, water and heat usage, safety and ethics.
- The process of extracting dye colour and making dye baths.
- Using mordants made from kitchen-safe materials, to make colours richer and more colourfast.
- The option to use commercial mordants.
- Making natural dye colour modifiers to enhance or alter the dye colours.
- Simple Shibori and dip-dye techniques.
- Selecting fabrics for natural dyeing; thinking about organic, provenance, and sustainable impact.
- Making a natural dye reference book.
- The use of natural dye colours and choice of textile materials in personal practice.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Source and use fabrics and locally found natural colours responsibly, sustainably and ethically.
- Mix bio-waste dye colours for a personal palette on a wide range of natural fibres.
- Respond to design opportunities requiring colours made from natural dyes.
- Make simple shibori patterns using natural dyes.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

- Beginner.
- You should be computer literate so you are able to complete and submit online, your written assignments.
- You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information.
- You will be invited to take part in group discussions.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

- You will be taught online using Zoom
- Google classroom storing all resources
- You will need a space to carry out the drawing exercises.
- You may wish to complete some of the drawing projects after the course has ended.
- You will need to login into our Google classroom before our sessions starts where details will be uploaded for session one.
- We suggest a using a computer or laptop with a fully updated google chrome browser works best for live online sessions. Using headphones with a microphones are ideal to block out all room noise.
- Or use a tablet or device but will need a microphone, and optionally a camera
- You will require a good broadband connection as mobile data 3G/4G or a mobile dongle will not provide sufficient Bandwidth
You are advised to practise the techniques to show work and discuss in live sessions, additional work is encouraged as this will help you to develop skills and techniques to get the most out of your sessions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

- Bio-waste/kitchen peelings, pips, leaves (advice will be given on google class prior to the first session)
- Locally foraged leaves, berries or bark (advice will be given)
- Plant based mordant ingredients (soya milk is good)
- Alum mordant (not essential, but if you’d like to purchase, advice will be given in first session)
- Modifier ingredients (lemon/lime, baking powder, iron-water)
- Chopping board, kitchen knife, scissors.
- Natural fabric; small samples (A5) are a good size
- Stainless steel/non-reactive pans for soaking dye material (1 - 2 litre good)
- Big dye pot – preferably stainless steel
- Stirring spoons
- Gloves and an apron.
- Plastic sieve
- Muslin or old tea-towel
- Shibori equipment (old pegs, needle and strong thread)
- A notebook for making a dye reference book. A4 is a good size; lined or plain.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Have a browse of our other textile and dye classes on the links above, particularly VO182 Textile printing with natural dyes.

Lara Mantell

Lara is a printed textile designer, with a passion for colour, pattern and mark-making. She holds a degree in Fashion and Textile design from Brighton University, and a PgCert in teaching adults. Lara draws inspiration for her designs from landscapes, gardens and foliage. Her colourful and joyful hand-printed fabrics are lyrical and abstracted representations of this environment. She has sold work to major fashion brands, printed scarfs and hangings, and exhibited her intricately printed designs. Lara uses her eclectic repertoire of print, dye and design knowledge to research contemporary printing with natural dyes. These experimental prints inform and shape her current professional practice. Lara is a founding member of Ceres; an eco- conscious trio who collaborate on environmental and sustainable design projects. Lara enjoys sharing her creative ideas; and is short course tutor at University of the Arts London, West Dean College, and other education venues. At City Lit, she teaches a range of specialist courses that include; shibori and indigo, drawing for textile design, dye techniques, and natural dye printing.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.