Art textiles

Block printing fabric with natural dyes with Linda Row

Ref: S3D09011


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About this course

This workshop will introduce a sustainable method of using natural dyes for block printing on silk cloth. Gain an understanding from a historical perspective, as you dye a length of silk, then make a lino block from your own imagery, and use it to print your own cloth with a simple repeat pattern.

Course Description

The first session will be an introduction to my practice as a sustainable designer, showing examples of previous collections and explaining why I have chosen to use certain mordants and dyestuffs and to exclude others. This will be followed by a brief overview of block printing with natural dyes, looking at the connection between the emergence of printing onto paper and the connection with block printing onto cloth.

The next session will be a demontration of several natural dyes, followed by experimentation using a variety of fibers. Students will then be given a choice of dyestuff to dye their own lengths of silk cloth and the session will conclude with a chance to explore imagery to be used for their block print and the creation of a block from lino or wood.

The last session will start with a description of the ferro-tannic process and dye pastes will be made, ready for printing. Students will be able to try-out their own block print and to design their repeat pattern, resulting in a length of printed cloth. There will also be an opportunity to purchase additional pieces of silk to experiment further.

At the end of this workshop:

You will have an understanding of the historical use of natural dyes.

Learn a safe and environmentally friendly method of using natural dyes.

Print on to silk with natural dyes and iron.


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


  • Dyestuffs, one metre of haborai silk and one lino block

What students need to bring

  • Apron, rubber gloves, covered footwear essential in the workshop

Available to buy

  • Silk habotai fabric
  • Peace silk satin (@ £22 per metre from the tutor)
  • Additional lino blocks
  • Lino cutters (also provided for use)
  • Scissors, pencil, notebook


Linda Row

Linda Row is a sustainable clothing and textile designer, she trained at St Martins School of Art and is currently undertaking a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University. Linda founded Clothworks in 1997, which was one of the first ethical clothing labels in the UK, and then Boutique Ethique in 2006. She is a fellow of the RSA and has been teaching for the past seven years after completing her MA at Bath Spa University.


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

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