Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Natural Dyeing & Felt Making Courses in Scotland

Wild Rose Escapes run craft, wild cookery and relaxation holidays and courses in the heart of the Highlands of Scotland. Their courses include natural dyeing and felt making. We invited owner Rosie to tell us a little more about their craft holidays.

"I have been running craft courses in the Highlands of Scotland for over 7 years now and since the very beginning I have been buying materials from Fibrecrafts (George Weil & Sons Ltd). I started off running felting and natural dyeing courses and after buying my own small flock of Shetland sheep, we started running our Fleece to Felt weeks and Dye to Hand Spin courses. We teach the whole process - guests watch Alex hand-shear our Shetland sheep, they learn how to wash the fleece, make natural dyes, and learn how to felt a final piece. We also teach spinning and eco-printing using flowers and leaves."


"I always use Fibrecrafts and always recommend the site to participants on my courses and holidays. They do a great natural dye starter kit, which is a real help to beginners, with a little bit of everything in it. Living where we do, a lot of retailers will add an extra cost if they are sending goods to the Highlands - Fibrecrafts never do, which I so appreciate."


"Although we do order ancient dyes in, such as Indigo, Madder and Logwood, it is also fun to forage for dye plants and make our own dyes. Each season has something to offer. We are lucky living in the Highlands as we have so many dye plants on our door step. In the Spring we forage for Gorse and Broom flowers, and Bracken fronds, then Meadowsweet, Birch leaves and many more in the summer, moving onto berries, bark and fungi in the Autumn. Like dyers from earlier times I like to mix foraged plants alongside ancient imported dyes creating a rainbow of colours."


"Working outside is such a joy and because we live in a woodland I am lucky enough to be able to dye outside over fires, as we have a never ending supply of wood. However, although this is the way I love to dye it is not the only way and it is easy enough to set up a little dye workshop in a garage space or patio, all you really need is the enthusiasm to experiment."


"You can see from our photographs some of the stunning colours that can be created from nature." Visit Rosie's website to find out more about Wild Rose Escapes. If you would like to have a go at any of the crafts mentioned by Rosie, you can browse the George Weil website for Natural Dyeing, Felt Making and Spinning.

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