An introduction to natural dyes which includes practical basics, and some of their fascinating history. Students will learn the basics of dye and fibre preparation, mordanting, working with weld, madder, cochineal and indigo. A selection of samples will be dyed on silk and wool, and students can create a natural-dyed silk scarf. 

All materials will be provided but students are asked to wear old clothes, closed-toed shoes and to bring:

a pair of new household rubber gloves
an apron
a box of dressmakers’ pins (optional)
a needle and thread
notebook and pen

The workshop will take place at Bellacouche, The Unitarian Chapel, Moretonhampstead – a two minute walk from the gallery.


Jane Deane is a dyer, spinner and weaver. She uses natural dyes and non-polluting techniques to create strong, fast colours on natural fibres, particularly silk. She has taught and exhibited throughout the UK and abroad and writes regularly for textile publications. 

Isabella Whitworth trained as a graphic designer, has worked as a textile artist and tutor for more than 30 years and is internationally known as a resist dyer using natural, and synthetic dyes. She researches natural dye trade and history.

Both tutors are members of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen.