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Weaving Voices – Dyes Past & Present

May 25 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

A journey from the earliest dyes, what they were, who used them & how we know about them through to the development of modern dyes & methods

Dyes Past & Present is a journey from the earliest dyes, what they were, who used them and how we know about them through to the development of our modern dyes and methods.

Debbie will bring the history of dyeing to life, bringing with her a fascinating collection of dyers’ manuals from the 1800s to the 1960s, letters, beautiful dye sample books, dyestuffs and dyed samples. There may even be some dyes that you might have had in your laundry cupboard!

Find out why purple was once the exclusive preserve of the wealthy and why being a ‘waddy’ was one of the least attractive jobs if you were a Victorian peasant.

Debbie has over 30 years’ experience as a dyer and designer and has written numerous articles on dyeing and dye history. She teaches dye workshops at Sunny Bank Mills and loves to share her passion for all things dyeing!

This is a hands on informal talk with a limited number of attendees, so you will be given plenty of chance to explore and ask questions about Debbie’s research and see some of her work up close! The format will be a 1hr talk by Debbie followed by the opportunity to visit the rest of the Archive yourself as part of the event.

We strive to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, and thanks to National Lottery Heritage Funding, not only are all tickets subsidised, but also, this event will be BSL interpreted as well as being able to offer a limited number of free Accessibility & Inclusivity tickets to Deaf and disabled customers, and also to students.



The venue of the talk (the Bobbin Room & Archive) has flat access into the building, and a short ramp in one area. The building also has accessible toilet facilities. Thanks to National Lottery Heritage Funding, this talk will be BSL interpreted.

If you have any questions or concerns about accessibility, please email [email protected].

Free parking available on site.

Talk terms and booking conditions

Event bookings can be cancelled and refunded up until 7 days before the scheduled start date. Please note that Eventbrite’s booking fee is non-refundable.

If we need to cancel this event for any reason your ticket will be fully refunded.

About Debbie

Debbie is a passionate textile artist and designer. She has over 30 years’ experience as a dyer, writer, designer and tutor. Debbie studied Textiles at UCA and has a postgraduate qualification as an Arts for Health practitioner. She holds qualifications for teaching in the lifelong learning sector.

Debbie has been a tutor for over 14 years and teaches textile arts workshops around the UK. Her teaching areas include natural and synthetic dyeing, knitting and crochet. She regularly delivers talks on a number of dyeing topics including the history of dyeing, indigo and woad dyeing and the dye history of Leeds and surrounding areas.

In addition to her dye research work, Debbie has written five books, translated and reprinted in a number of languages. Debbie has written over 100 published articles and knitwear designs. Debbie has been featured in many international publications. Her work has also featured in exhibitions around the UK. Debbie is an assessor for the natural and synthetic certificates in dyeing for the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers.

Debbie is a director of Making Futures CIC, a non-profit organisation working with community groups to provide health and wellbeing through the creative arts. Making Futures is an accredited centre for City and Guilds qualifications in creative design and handknitting and Debbie is responsible for devising the accredited programmes, ongoing development and delivery. Debbie is also a director of Flourish Together CIC, providing mentoring for women starting creative social enterprises.


May 25
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Sunny Bank Mills Museum & Archive
Water Lane
Farsley, LS28 5UJ United Kingdom