Jacqui Symons: Screenprinting with Natural Dyes Summer School


Monday 14 August   – Thursday 17th August 2023



This comprehensive four-day course will introduce experienced screenprinters to the wonderful world of printmaking with natural dyes.  This is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the technique of using plants to achieve a variety of colour from brilliant primary hues through to the subtle tones and shades of nature.


Participants will learn how to incorporate natural colour into their work, how to mix and use plastic-free printing pastes for fabrics, which dyes are the most effective, how to modify colour, how to prepare and treat textiles and how to use mordants to achieve a range of tones from a single dye pot.


This practical and intensive course will provide you with the skills to develop and cultivate the use of natural dyes in your printmaking practice.  You’ll be provided with the recipes and instructions needed to continue experimenting with plant colour and will finish the course with the knowledge to further your use of this process.


Whilst the course will concentrate on screenprinting onto fabric, we’ll also look at how to make and use natural dye pastes for paper-based work.  You’ll have the opportunity to work on either paper or textiles, or both – the emphasis is on providing you with the skills and knowledge to take this process in your own direction.


You don’t need any prior knowledge of working with natural dyes but you will need a practical knowledge of screenprinting to get the most out of this course.  Whilst you will have the opportunity to expose screens if necessary, this won’t be a taught component of the course as we will be primarily using stencils to create our patterns and designs.


Please note that we will only be using colour from plants so won’t be using cochineal, though the techniques and recipes will be suitable for experimentation with this source of natural colour once the course has finished.


Day One:        Introduction to natural dyes, making print pastes for fabric, using paper stencils and screenprinting onto fabric

Day Two:        Making and screenprinting with mordant pastes

Day Three:      Making print pastes for paper and screenprinting onto fabric or paper

Day Four:        Processing mordant prints and dyeing mordant-printed fabric

Jacqui Symons

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