For our October meeting we welcomed Debbie Tomkies who ran a dyeing workshop using extracts of natural dyes, and she also brought a shop of dyes, yarns, books and tools. Twelve members of the guild took part and everyone had an interesting and productive session whether they had years of dyeing experience or were new to the process.
In the first part of the workshop we worked in pairs, choosing two extracts to combine together and then dye 5 alum mordanted samples and then use 4 different modifiers on 4 of samples to show the range of colours that can be achieved from each. The modifiers used were acid, alkali, copper and
iron and everyone was able to go home with a card of 30 small samples showing all the colours created in the session.
For the second part of the workshop we each chose extracts to dye the yarns, fibre and fabric that we had mordanted in advance (or had mordanted in the earlier session). Each of us chose the technique we preferred from painting our skeins or sock blanks and wrapping in cloths and clingfilm, to dipping into 2 or 3 or even 4 pots within a larger one which were then microwaved to set the
dyes. The results were vibrant, in some cases surprising and created a collection of very impressive yarns and textiles to take away from a very enjoyable workshop.