Natural Dye Project

Natural Dyes Project

Natural dyes is one of our projects that was set up to explore the feasibility of natural dyes in Lancaster and Morecambe and to raise awareness of the toxic effects of industrial dyes on the environment and implications for health.

At Sewing Cafe Lancaster we believe in the ‘small scale’ potential for using natural dyes as tools to enhance or upcycle fabric/clothes you already have and recognise the connection with process, seasons and the soil.

We use techiniques that minimise the use of water along with renewable growing practices on either wool grown in a farm 2.82 miles from Lancaster or recycled cotton and linen sheets that otherwise would have ended up in landfill.

Top: Katrina teaching Eco-printing technique. Photo by Gina Frausin. Right: Samples of dyes with kitchen waste. Photo by Katrina Barnish

A living collection of natural dyeing


We are graciously hosted at Claver Hill Community Farm. We now have 2 raised beds at the entrance to the farm for our “living collection of natural dyeing”, a high raised bed specifically for Madder, another 3 beds for growing larger quantities of specific plants, and are beginning to add plants to the nature trail.

In the future, we hope to host tours and natural dye workshops on site. Experiencing the full process of harvesting, preparing, dyeing and revealing the work all in place is a magical process that everyone should have the opportunity to experience!