Textiles: printing with natural dyes
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VO182
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
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?
A modern interpretation of the ancient craft of printing natural dyes onto fabric. Explore ideas for printing sustainably by using low-tech screen-printing and cut-paper stencils. The structure of the course is ideal for beginners, or professionals whose skills may need updating. Each session will involve demonstrations of techniques, to enable students to screen-print and use natural dyes on a range of fabrics. There will be plenty of opportunities to explore design ideas. By the end of the course you will have printed a number of samples, and started to make a unique natural print reference book.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Creating simple textile print designs.
- Printing onto a variety of natural fabrics.
- How to mix natural dyes for printing onto fabric.
- Safe use of mordents, and their role in the natural printing workshop
- Low-tech printing methods such as screen printing, cut-paper stencils.
- Learn how to create natural dye prints that are wash-fast.
- Describe how to replicate specialised print studio techniques at home, or in a small workshop.
- Making a natural dye print reference book.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Hand screen print fabrics with your own design, using natural dyes.
- Use mordants and natural dyes in a safe and sustainable way.
- Produce prints, in a range of colours, onto a variety of natural fabrics.
- Make a natural dye print reference book.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
- Beginne level.
- 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.
- Suitable for textile print designers interested in learning a new skill, screen printers who would like the experience of printing with alternative dyes mediums or natural dyers who want to understand how to translate their work into screen printing.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- 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 be taught using Zoom for the live sessions with your tutor. You will receive an email 2.5hrs before your session starts with details of the live session link. Please be aware you will need to check your email address associated with your account within this window.
- We use Google Classroom E-learning platform which will store all tasks/notes/resources/ demo videos You will need to login into our Google classroom before each sessions starts.
- You will need a computer or laptop. Ideally with a fully updated google Chrome browser.
- Using headphones with microphones will block out all room noise in sessions.
- If you are using a tablet or mobile device you 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 for live sessions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
- A sketchbook, or other visual reference material to inspire the shapes and imagery printed.
- Variety of A4/A3 pieces of natural fabric (cotton, linen, silk, wool).
- A screen and squeegee.
- Hair dryer.
- Print-paste making equipment that you don’t mind getting messy, and is not for food use; whisk, scales, metal spoons, saucepan (1-2 L), plastic containers with lids (200 – 500 ml) large saucepan (5 L) chopping board, knife, sieve, muslin/old tea-towel.
- Scissors or a scalpel for cutting designs.
- Newsprint or old newspapers for using as stencils.
- Flat printing surface that is larger than your screen, preferably an old piece of board.
- Old piece of thick cotton fabric to cover print surface/table.
- Staple gun (or gaffa tape), masking tape, and parcel tape.
- Steaming equipment; piece of old cotton (1/2m), pins, colander that fits over the large pan, old towel.
- Dress-making pins.
- Biowaste materials to make print pastes from; for the first day onion skins (red or yellow) or red cabbage.
- Commercial products to make print pastes from, purchased from Wild Colours website.
- At least 1 natural dye extract (logwood, weld, madder or chlorophyllin are nice)
- Alum – about 50g
- Apron and gloves.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
The techniques learnt on this course can be translated into a variety of textile outcomes. There are a range of classes in Contemporary Textiles and Crafts where you can explore possibilities
Please browse the website to view our upcoming courses.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is also available from the Student Centre and Library from Monday to Fridays 12:00-14:00 then 16:00-18:00.
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.