A few weeks ago I had a textileicious day and this week I have had another one at my Embroiderers’ Guild meeting. The morning was a sewing workshop though as usual it was more talking about stitching than doing any!
In the afternoon we had a speaker, a wonderful woman called Linda Rudkin who does a talk called ‘Colour from Nature’ about using natural plant dyes. She does the most amazing work with her dyed fabric and thread and the colour boards to show the different effects of each dye were textile works of art in themselves let alone all of the beautiful cushions, bowls etc she brought with her. My favourite was the large box pictured below embellished with a wealth of three dimensional leaves that were all dyed from one source.
I was particularly interested in the use of dyes as it fits in very well with the medieval period and she also does something called Flower Pounding which as it sounds involves hitting flowers leaves etc with a hammer to extract the dyes straight onto fabric. She had the most beautiful examples of these flower pictures with her.
Go and have a look at her web site for inspiration – we are all hoping she will come back and do a workshop for us next year.
I bought her book, called Natural Dyes and also some fabric which has been pre-treated with mordant and some dye stuff. Our branch of the Guild has its bi-annual exhibition in September and we are making a rainbow of individual panels to display – each person has chosen a colour. Mine is indigo which of course is a natural dye in itself so I am going to do some experimenting for that piece. Watch this space!