Workshop Details: February 29 Botanic Dyeing – focus on red

Saturday February 29, 2020

10:00am – 4:00pm

In the Dye Studio and surrounds at Tarndie

Instructed by Heather Thomas

Topic: Botanic Dyeing – focus on red

You’ve learnt the basics of botanic dyeing- now it’s time to focus on red.

In this workshop, we will focus on red by exploring the ancient dyes of madder, cochineal and lac. Dyeing Polwarth yarn with these extracts will be an adventure in learning how to expand the range of shades we can create. We will experiment with changing the Ph of the dye bath and what effects we can achieve using different mordants, exhaust dyeing and over-dyeing.

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

What you will learn

  • Preparation of wool fibres for natural dyeing
  • Dyeing process using natural dyes
  • Techniques for good colourfastness
  • Over-dyeing
  • Extended range of techniques to achieve rich red colours

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
  • Showbag of Tarndie white wool to start dyeing at home

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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