Heritage Dye Workshops: A month of creativity in August


Throughout August, members and volunteers from Trust Links had the opportunity to learn the art of traditional dyeing with local artist Anna Lukala. The dye workshops enabled attendees to learn a range of skills and reap the relaxing benefits of art at Trust Links Westcliff.

The project was funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and saw members of the charity join Anna to learn the art of mordanting and dyeing using natural resources, most of which came from the Trust Links therapeutic gardens. Using avocado, onion skins, and a range of other natural resources such as leaves, the group were taught how to safely treat and use the produce to create beautiful, dyed fabrics.

Anna Lukala shared her expertise and said: “It has been a rewarding experience to share my skills, knowledge and enthusiasm, on how to use plants and historic methods to dye fabric with the Trust Links members and staff. We utilised a soil to soil ethos by being mindful of energy and water consumption, and learning together how to sustainable forage, grow and tend to a dye garden. Participants had a chance to feel more connected to the nature that surrounds them, and to the materials used to create non toxic naturally dyed experiments by exploring various methods like Shibori, bundle dyeing, immersion dyeing and using several modifiers and mordants, to create different outcomes.”

“Working creatively in a group, and closely with nature, by foraging and nurturing plants from seed to harvest have positive mental health benefits, whilst reducing stress, boosting self-confidence, learning communication and problem solving skills. Members and staff will now have the tools and skills to work independently on innovative and original creative projects with limitless options that botanical colours offers.”

Thank you to Anna for helping our members, staff and volunteers learn some new creative skills through the heritage dye workshops, and in turn discovering more ways to unwind through productivity.

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