Route & Number: Green 29
Date / Time: Saturday 2nd July 10 – 4pm
Sunday 3rd July 10 – 4pm
Location: Durlstone, Newlay Wood Ave
Event: Craft Dyer & Spinner with hands on opportunities
Barbara Harper – Yorkshire’s to Dye For
I am a craft dyer which means I dye natural fibre (wool, alpaca silk and cotton) to make the world a more colourful place! I started to sell my yarn in 2014, and you can find my work in Fabrication in Leeds and online, mainly via my Facebook page.
I’m particularly interested in Slow Colours – my term for using plant and natural materials to form the basis of dyes. There is a great satisfaction in growing a plant and harvesting it to use as the dye for yarn. When used correctly these dyes are as permanent as any modern synthetic dye and people often comment on how natural colours have a different quality. I also love eco dyeing on silk. (see photo) This process involves using foraged plant material and steam to set the colours.
I also design my own knitting patterns. The hat in the photo is my Autumn design – ‘Swallows Fly North’ using the ‘flying swallows’ pattern which helps to show off the amazing colour changes you can find in handpainted wool.
In 2015 I was also involved in a fascinating project to investigate the 200 year old colour recipes used at Gott’s Mill, now Armley Industrial Museum. The project team recreated the recipes and then we used the materials we dyed to make various artifacts! This culminated in an exhibition in the Mill. (December 2015-March 2016) Along the way we discovered more about the Gott family, the Luddites and the early years of the industrialisation of the textile business in Leeds.