Dye Lab


New for 2021 is the Dyelab – a space for students to cook up a pot of plants and dye some samples of fabric or paper.








Madder tops just starting to regrow this Spring









The colour is found in the roots of the madder plants. The thicker the roots the better.










The roots are washed and chopped up then cooked to extract colour. This is a sheet of cotton rag paper which will stay in the pot for about 30 minutes.









Samples of paper dyed with the madder root. Most of these had been previously mordanted with oak gall and symplocos.

Light fast test

Set up for a test on how light fast some of the inks are: testing green tea, onion skin, beetroot, elder berry, and red cabbage.

A sheet of water colour paper has been coloured with the inks then cut into two strips which have been folded into a concertina.

One of these will be left open in the workshop, whilst the other is folded up, bound and kept in a drawer.

Compare results after a year…..

A New Garden at Grand Parade

A new garden is being planted at Grand Parade in the green space beside the Waste House.
Planting will begin this Spring and will include a collection of berry plants and vegetables, all of which can be harvested for different coloured inks.
The new ink garden will partner the already established Dye Garden which has been growing plants for dye for a number of seasons.
This blog will keep you up to date with the development of the garden and provide links to other useful resources for anyone interested in the growing and processing of plants for natural inks and dyes.