Art textiles

Wild textiles – foraging and natural dyeing with Sarah Burns

Ref: S2D10102

Beginners/Intermediate

£299
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Places available

About this course

Learn how to make a wide range of natural dye colours from foraged materials. You will gather seasonal flowers, fruits and leaves from West Dean Gardens and the surrounding estate to make your own natural dye recipe books.

Course Description

This workshop will enable you to explore the process of natural dyeing by foraging for your own plant matter. You will learn how to forage sustainably and identify common and rare flora.

Using seasonal flowers, fruits, leaves, bark and roots from different habitats around West Dean, you will create over 20 natural dye baths, and learn how to extract the dye colour from the plant. You will also learn how to mordant your fabric in a range of mordants so that it is receptive to the dye.

As well as dyeing sample pieces of silk, you will have the opportunity to experiment with a range of after baths and modifers, enabling you to create many shades and tones from one plant.

You will be creating accurate records of your own, learning through the creation of your own Natural Dye Recipe Book. This will enable you to continue your journey of discovery in your garden/studio, and develop your own practice.

This workshop will have a special emphasis on sustainability. We will be looking at seasonal, local materials, and working towards having a zero-waste impact on the environment.

Timetable

Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

Included

  • On this course the tutor will supply some of the materials, including:
  • Plant identification books, lining paper and pens for the plant ID; small dye pots, stirrers and labels and recipe sheets. She will also supply the mordants (and mordant baths) and after baths.
  • On this course the College will supply 1m of silk for each student to mordant and dye.

What students need to bring

  • For the foraging: Foraging bags (a clean cloth bag or basket), secateurs and gardening gloves
  • For the dyeing: An apron, Marigold gloves and a waterproof pen (for writing labels). Also a stapler (for affixing samples to the recipe sheets) and a notebook.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Additional fabric if needed

Tutors

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a pattern-maker and textile printer. She teaches natural dying and printing in her West Sussex studio as well at Ditchling Museum and Hand Printed in Bognor Regis. Her designs can be seen at the Guy Goodfellow Collection in Chelsea, at Dartington Hall and as part of the Virginia White Collection. 

Accommodation

Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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