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Natural Dyes

Natural Dyes

London College of Fashion
Taught by
Kavita Kumari


This course will provide you with a basic introduction to Natural Dye plants. Along with creative techniques to use with plant materials to dye natural fibres. Using a range of natural plant dye extracts you will explore the process of using natural dyes for the colouration of natural fibres ranging from silk, cotton, linen, wool. You will experiment with the dyeing processes through the use of various dyeing techniques to develop a colour palette of your choice.

The workshops starting point is at the Natural Dye Garden at LCF’s Mare Street site, where you will see a dye garden, be shown the plants, discuss plant safety and how to use them.

The course will then look in detail at dyeing processes and techniques. You will have the opportunity to create and develop a range of colour samples/swatches using a variation of mordanting processes, to understand the stages of dyeing and techniques and effects on colour.
The course will include: 

  • Identifying the dye plant  
  • Staying safe with plants
  • Eco dyeing technique
  • Solar dyeing technique
  • Intermixing Colours
  • Tie-Dyeing
  • Gradient- Dyeing
  • Block-Dyeing
  • Exploring Mordanting

At the end of the course you will have a thorough and practical understanding of Natural Dyes and will take away a sample book with a selection of samples and technical notes that you could implement in your own practice.

You may also be interested in our Sustainable Fashion Design course.

Please note: This course takes place across 2 London College of Fashion sites (Mare Street and Lime Grove). We will contact students booked onto the course before the start date to confirm which site students will be at each day.


Beginners. You should have an interest in the subject area and a desire to learn but no previous experience is required.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older.


Your course place is confirmed once you have booked online or via the phone using a credit or debit card. There is no deadline for booking. Places are offered on a first come, first served basis, and all courses have a maximum number of students. We suggest you book early to avoid disappointment.

Tutor Description

Kavita Kumari, began her career as a freelance Print Designer in Fashion & Interiors, selling at Indigo, Premiere Vision and in New York to Calvin Klein after graduating from Central Saint Martins with a BA Honours in Textile Design: Print.  Kavita has since held several independent and collaborative exhibitions combining her skills as a Painter and Textile Designer, which led to commissions for Jujus and Village Underground for corporate events and new graduate designers. She maintains a strong connection with the UAL through her position as a Specialist Teaching and Learning Print & Dye Technician at London College of Art and Chelsea School of Art.  Kavita has a PG Cert in Higher Education and an MA in Academic Practice for Art, Design and Communication and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Kavita teaches Freehand Drawing for Textiles, Silk Screen and Hand Painting for Textiles, Natural Dyes and Fashion Design & Making Summer School (16 – 18 Year Olds) for UAL Short Courses.


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:

  • Gloves
  • Apron
  • Sketch book
  • Note pad
  • Pen and pencil
  • Plastic bag
  • Images of ideas that may inspire the process
  • Any small pieces of fabric that you may want to try out during the workshop.

Available dates