Natural Dyeing

Wednesday 7 June 2017


The course

Students will learn the basics of dyeing with natural materials. The course will cover the different types of mordants and their effects on the colours obtained, dyeing with fresh and dried materials, dye-plant identification, environmental considerations, and the effects of dyes on various fibres.
From the brilliant yellows and reds of Weld and Cochineal to the subtler effects available from a number of ordinary garden plants, natural dyeing can provide a range of colours suitable for a variety of projects. Everyone will take home a selection of samples and the confidence to continue experimenting with natural dyes.

The tutor

Lesley Parker is a former domestic interpreter at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. She has extensive experience in interpreting a range of historical periods. Previously she worked at Fishbourne Roman Palace and she taught history at secondary level. She now works as a freelance dometic interpreter.

Participant information

Please bring with you a pen and notebook, apron or other protective clothing, plastic bags, rubber gloves and large tickets for labelling your yarns. Please do also bring some yarn (either cotton, linen or wool). These should be 100% pure (i.e. natural – NOT man-made) or a mixture of fibres and a small piece of natural fabric (about 12” square).


£55 per person, to include tuition, teas and coffees. The Museum café will be open or you can bring a packed lunch.

The Museum

The Weald & Downland Open Air Museum has over 45 historic building exhibits. It is also home to the award winning and innovative Downland Gridshell, which houses a conservation workshop and artefact store, and is also used for many practical courses. The Museum runs a full programme of courses in historic building conservation and traditional rural trades and crafts, along with MSc programmes in Building Conservation and Timber Building Conservation validated by the University of York. Please telephone for further details.