New Natural Dyeing Course at Ditchling Museum


I am delighted to announce that I will be starting a new natural dyeing course in April at Ditchling Museum in Sussex. The details of the course are below and applications are now open at the museum.

For more details and to apply, go to the museum website and click on “Learning”

Natural Dyeing Course with Jenny Dean – 2022

 12 sessions over six months from April – September, with 6 in-person whole day sessions at the Museum on a Sunday and 6 sessions via Zoom (or similar), also on a Sunday, of 2 to 3 hours each.

The aim of this comprehensive course is to teach participants how to prepare and use dyes from natural materials to dye both animal and vegetable fibres. You will learn how to follow best practices to produce a full spectrum of consistent, reliable colours and how to test dyed samples for light- and wash-fastness. We will cover a wide range of mordanting and dyeing techniques and the use of colour modifiers; the dyes used will include all the classic traditional dyes, such as madder, weld, cochineal and indigo. Participants will learn how to grow, harvest, prepare and use plants for dyeing, using the Museum’s dye garden as a resource.

The course will also feature tuition in surface dyeing techniques from creative artists Ross Belton, who will be assisting Jenny on the course and demonstrating contact dyeing, and printmaker Jacqui Symons who will lead a session on printmaking with natural dyes.

This will be a hands-on course and the emphasis throughout will be on reliable, safe, environmentally friendly methods. All materials required for the taught components of the course will be provided, including some for personal experiments between sessions. Participants will also be able to bring some of their own materials for small samples.