Monthly Archives: September 2013

Naturally Dyed Woollen Braid

This time last year, we got a braid comission to finish off a madder-coloured tunic.

The owner returned this year to show us how it looked!

It has been used to hem his tunic and will soon be adorning his cuffs as well. We are very pleased with how it looks, how well the colours co-ordinate and he seemed very pleased to have authentically coloured clothing.

Michelham Priory Medieval Weekend

Our 10th event!

Organised by the Michelham Bowmen, this is a great little event in a beautiful location.

Despite rain and wind at various points over the weekend, we still managed to dye our new shiny spun silk and more of our new range of tapestry wools. Everyone who stopped by to watch the dyeing and discuss our colours seemed really pleased with what they saw and learnt.

New Aquisitions

Wehave a set of quern stones, from Tewkesbury, and some grain to grind. They proved very popular at both Silchester open days, helping the Students understand how labour intensive food preparation was in the Iron Age and the Roman period. We also occasionally meet people from other cultures who remember growing us using quern stones. We’re really glad that we can help people keep in touch with their personal histories, not just the history of this country.


Between the first and second Silchester Open Days, we made a replica Iron Age warp-weighted loom. This was to demonstrate the use and context of the Iron Age loom weights found by the Reading University students at the Silchester excavation.



Our fire stand / grid made by Cobalt Blacksmiths has been finished for Herstmonceux, where we were demonstrating natural dyes for all three days, as well as using our loom. It keeps the fire off the ground, so we can demonstrate dyeing at sensitive historical sites.

Herstmonceux Medieval Festival Weekend

Herstmonceux was our first three-day event. Unfortunately Saturday was incredibly wet, but we managed to keep as dry as possible around the fire and it improved greatly on Sunday and Monday. We provided on-going demonstrations of natural dyeing over the whole event, and created a beautiful range of colours.

Herstmonceux castle in Sussex is a beautiful location for such a large festival. There is so much going on, from jousting to a castle seige. We were part of a big medieval market, right in the centre of the action.

We were very pleased to meet another dyer, from Italy, and share our dfferent methods of obtaining the best colours. He had a fantastic portable dye vat system too!