What better way to spend the weekend than hopping over to France for two days of natural dyeing.
Many of you will know that my Mum, Claudia, and I have started working together. I was struggling to find eco yarns that were naturally dyed so Mum, building on a life-long interest in fabric and dress making, started naturally dyeing yarns for me to weave with.
Through our research into natural dyeing we came across Ian Howard, owner of the only commercial woad production centre in the UK. Ian highly recommended we contact Debbie Bamford, an expert in natural dyeing, who has been researching and developing natural dyes for many years.
Debbie has been involved in some fascinating projects including period costume dyeing for The Globe Theatre, dress for reenactment groups and a sail for a viking ship. Her work is exhibited in the V&A and she continues to produce authentically dyed materials for Hampton Court Palace.
One of the beauties of natural dyeing is that you never stop learning; there's always another surprise to come out of the dye bath. Following up on the natural dyeing workshop we went on in 2018, and having spent months experimenting with natural dyes for my weaving, we wanted to further our understanding and experience in specific areas, such as dyeing with madder and indigotin and extending colour ranges through modifying.
Debbie's dye house is in a little village in Northern France. We booked in for a two day workshop, which was tailored to our specific needs, and came away feeling very enthused with what we learnt, and very well fed!
We're excited to be putting all we've learned into practice, and we're hoping to have our first range of naturally dyed handwoven soft furnishings and accessories available in time for Christmas.
If you would like to get in touch with Debbie about her workshops or any of her beautifully dyed yarns, you can contact her through her website: