Stroudwater Textiles Trust

In February, Stroudwater Textiles Trust came in to teach Year 9 textiles students about dying with natural substances. The workshops, led by Ann Taylor, had us using different natural dyes. Turmeric gave a bright yellow, black beans gave a blue colour, madder root gave a soft red and cochineal that gave a deep red colour and is made from hundreds and hundreds of very tiny beetles.

We investigated how different materials affected the colour of the dye. Sodium bicarbonate turned the yellow turmeric red then by adding vinegar, this turned back to yellow. We learnt how important it is to ‘mordant’ fabric before dying – this means that fabric is soaked in a substance such as salt, vinegar and alum, which helps the dye fix or ‘bite’ into the fabric. It was really enjoyable and very educational.

Natalie Brint, 9FDB