Thanks for visiting my home on the Internet! My name is Rebecca and I am a UK based natural dyer, as well as a designer, maker, writer and publisher.
On this page you can find out more about:
I am vegan and my textiles practice is a complete expression of my personal philosphy. The fabric that I use is always made from plants (my favourites are organic cotton and linen) and I forage for plants to make dyes and also use kitchen waste products, such as avocado skins and pomegranate skins.
My journey with natural dyes began several years ago when I started experimenting with plant dye extracts and I fell in love with the rainbow of colours that nature has to offer.
After my son was born a few years ago, I started to look for a deeper connection with nature and stopped using powdered extracts and now only use whole plants. These days I’m less interested in repeating colours and more inspired by the colour potential from local plants.
I like to embrace the slow nature of the dyeing process. I enjoy going for walks with my son to collect dye plants then return home to see the colours that they will give in the dye pot. I've discovered that if I accidentally forget about a dye pot for several days, the colours are much deeper. Plant dyeing is a lovely craft to do as it fits in so easily with home life and there really are no mistakes to be made, just new experiences to be learnt from.
I also favour natural mordanting methods, such as soya (soy) milk pretreatment. I prefer to use food grade ingredients since I do my dyeing in my kitchen. When done slowly and methodically, soya milk mordanting gives wonderful results on plant fibres. You can find detailed step-by-steps in my book, 'Botanical Colour at Your Fingertips' (available on Amazon and also as an eBook).
Experimentation is at the heart of my work, and I dye one-off garments and accessories along the way. For the most long-lasting colours, I like to use dyes rich in tannins, such as avocado and pomegranate skins, as well as local plants such as nettles, alder cones and blackberry leaves.
I published my book, 'Botanical Colour at Your Fingertips' in May 2016. This project was born out of the frequent questions that I received about my dyeing methods. I always happily answered these questions via Instagram and email, but after a few months I realised that I should write down my methods succinctly so I had a record of my own processes.
After 4 months of work, the eBook version was released. To date in 2017, it has sold a few thousand copies across the world. My main motivation is to share this information as widely as possible, so that others can discover the world of natural dyeing and realise how easy it really is. We really do have colour right at our fingertips, just waiting to be unlocked.
Due to popular demand, I self-published the paperback version of 'Botanical Colour at Your Fingertips' towards the end of 2017 and it is now available worldwide on Amazon.
'Plants Are Magic' magazine launches at the end of March/beginning of April. It is a biannual magazine for makers, dreamers and plant lovers and unites the many forms of botanical creativity. It's an exploration of the human relationship with plants, with many stories, interviews, articles, tutorials and recipes from plant-lovers and specialists from all over the world.
After dipping my toes into the world of self-publishing, I realised that my true passion was to share information with others. I still continue to explore natural dyes, but towards the end of 2016 I realised that I was looking at natural dyeing in a wider perspective. I was no longer just interested in the colours that I could make from plants, but was thinking about the properties of the plantsand their different uses. There are many related plant-worlds, such as herbalism, aromatherapy, cooking and other forms of art and craft (to name just a few) so I decided to start a magazine that unites these. I have simply created my dream magazine, and I hope you enjoy it too.
Volume 1 is about "well-being" and is out now - in print and digital format. The magazine is a special project that comes from my heart and has been a true pleasure to compile and design. I hope that it brings some plant magic to your life.