Workshop details: January 18 & 19 Botanic Dyeing – expanding the colour wheel

Saturday & Sunday January 18 & 19, 2020

10:00am – 4:00pm each day

In the Dye Studio and surrounds at Tarndie

Instructed by Heather Thomas

Topic: Botanic Dyeing – expanding the colour wheel

You’ve learnt the basics of botanic dyeing- now it’s time to experiment with colour creation!

Over the two days we will dye Polwarth yarn using locally foraged plants to create yellows. We will then experiment with madder and cochineal extracts to create a range of reds. Having extra time allows us to play with the natural indigo vat at Tarndie to create all kinds of blue shades. 

On the second day we will expand our colour range by over-dyeing these yarns to create colourfast shades of green, orange and purple, resulting in a beautiful range of soft, rich, handmade colour.

Note: This workshop is designed for those with some previous dyeing experience . 

What you will learn

  • Preparation of wool fibres for natural dyeing
  • Preparation of leaves and botanics to make dyes
  • Dyeing process using plants
  • Techniques for good colourfastness
  • Over-dyeing

Take away

  • Sample book with yarn swatches of colours obtained using Tarndie Polwarth wool
  • Showbag of Tarndie white wool to start dyeing at home

About Heather

Heather has been working with natural fibres + plant colour for more than two decades and imparts her knowledge and expertise through regular workshops, symposiums and consultations.

With an Advanced Diploma of Arts in Studio Textiles (RMIT 2011), Heather was awarded first place in the Dreamweaver Design Award sponsored by Warwick Fabrics in 2008.

She directs her own business Wild Heather, and says “I have been exploring the plant kingdom and the extraction of colour for many years – dyeing yarns + cloth with fresh foraged leaves + dried extracts of plants. Facilitating workshops + events is the perfect way to share such knowledge.”

Heather has recently been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to pursue her research and learning in this area.

Find out  more here



  • Polwarth natural yarn (valued at $25.00)
  • Tuition from Heather of Wild Heather
  • Plant dyes
  • Your own swatch book to take home
  • Delicious morning tea
  • Tour of historic “Tarndwarncoort” – working wool farm and view the plans for the Dye Garden and existing dye rich trees/plants.

You will take away

  • Swatch book of dyed yarn
  • A list of helpful links to continue your learning.

Please bring your own

  • Notebook
  • Apron
  • Lunch to eat in the sunny courtyard or before the fire in the Homestead Dining Room


$135 – to book, please visit the Tarndie Online Woolshop here.

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