This course has concessions available

Natural Dyes For Textiles

Discover the beautiful and subtle colours of natural dye and dye natural fabric samples. Explore colour intensities, learn about mordant and non-mordant dyestuffs and eco-friendly techniques.

Who is this course for

Beginners and those who have an interest in exploring colour for textile creative practice.
Students who would like to learn more about dyes and fabrics
Those who would like to use samples for fabric development in print or stitch, or add to portfolio

Students should be able to follow instructions for simple recipes for measuring out dye materials.
They should be happy to work in a communal space , share dye equipment, work together as a group and follow the health and safety instructions given by the tutor to use dyes, and equipment safely.

The student should notify the tutor before the course begins, of any health issue that may affect learning eg: chest/ asthma, or skin conditions/ eczema

What does this course cover

This is a taster workshop to dye natural fabric(silk and wool)samples An introduction to colour mixing and hand dyed techniques. Beautiful soft and subtle colours can be created using natural dyes, rediscover the ancient art of dyeing fabric with natural dyestuffs.

Learn about:
Colour from nature, historical and cultural uses of different colour dyes.
Natural fabrics suitable for different dyestuffs Learn about the different dye colours and where they
derive from
Natural dyes, mordants, non mordant dyes, fast and non fast colour, stain fabric
Environmental concerns , and eco friendlier dyes

Understand and gain experience of how to:
Measure dyes and auxillaries to create different intensities of colour
Learn how prepare fabric for dyeing and with a suitable mordant
Prepare a dyebath for dyeing and dye fabric samples
Dye mordanted fabric small samples -silk ,wool and cotton with different natural dyestuffs
Dye fabric evenly
Follow Health and Safety instructions provided by the tutor and work with safe practice
in the Printroom

By the end, students should be able to:
Have an understanding of dyeing different natural fabrics fabric with different natural dyes
Measure dyes and auxillaries accurately following simple dye recipes
Understand the dye process, prepare fabric with mordant and dye fabric evenly with colour and achieve different intensities of colour
Have confidence to dye fabrics at home following the natural dye recipes provided
Understand the environmental concerns and employ healthy and safety in own working practice

What will it be like

Complete a questionnaire at the beginning of the course to inform the tutor of skills and interests

Handouts on colour and techniques covered by the course and suppliers list for materials will be given. Demonstrations of techniques, and using the equipment safely will be shown to the group.
Visual inspiration-books, fabrics, digital images will be available to look at during the course
One to one discussion between tutor and student
Group discussions, and an informal review of the work produced at the end of the course
Feedback is available from the tutor throughout the course

What else do you need to buy or do

Fabric and materials are provided and medium weight habotai silk is available to buy from the tutor at the class.
Apron or old shirt - to wear to cover your clothes and protect from dye splashes
Goggles, latex gloves and dust masks are available at the class, however, students may prefer to bring in their own - I pair Marigold gloves, 1 dust mask

A5 sketchbook or notebook for recording dye notes and fabric swatches
Pen or pencil for making notes
Any visual ideas for textiles you may like to bring to show the tutor or group.
A plastic carrier bag to carry home fabric samples safely

What this course could lead to

Printed Dyed and Stitch textiles courses. Colour.

mwc logo

I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Unavailable Classes:

Why come to Mary Ward Centre?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference.   We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening or weekend to suit your timetable.

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’