Natural Dyes: Dyeing The Rainbow


RHS Garden Rosemoor, EX38 8PH

RHS Garden Rosemoor, EX38 8PH


Great Torrington Rosemoor
EX38 8PH


RHS Garden Rosemoor


  • Member


  • Non-member



  • Course running time

    Saturday 10th September, 2022, 10:30am–4:30pm

  • Skill level


  • Subject


  • Topic

    Natural dyeing

Learn how different colours and shades are created using natural dyes, and discover some of the amazing history of colour on cloth. This course offers a hands-on introduction to natural dyes and you will learn how to prepare fibres, yarns, fabrics and dyes, and how to mordant materials before dyeing. Weld, madder, cochineal and indigo dye will be included, as well as some material from the woods and gardens at Rosemoor. Students will dye a set of samples to demonstrate the phenomenal range of vibrant colours that can be created through natural-dyeing techniques. 

Isabella's interest in natural dyes was ignited after a lecture on indigo given by artist Jenny Balfour-Paul. She began working with natural dyes and started to research individual trade histories of dyestuffs, specifically orchil, a purple dye obtained from lichens. Isabella combines her studio work dyeing scarves and shawls with teaching, writing and research: she is a short course tutor at West Dean College and a Member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen.

Allergens: Please note that nuts may be used on the course as a dye source, and equipment may have had contact with nuts.

 All materials and equipment provided. Lunch and refreshments included. 

Tutor: Isabella Whitworth

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