A Woad well travelled...

Posted by Zoe Fletcher on Sunday, June 20, 2010
That was too good a title to pass up on!

This week has been full of mammoth library sessions followed by fun trips out and lots of learning, so I haven't been very close to a computer for a while!

So updates at the ready...

I'm going to do it in a slightly backwards order as my memory works in funny ways!

On Friday I travelled to Beetley in Norwich/Norfolk to visit an amazing company called Woad Inc, set up by Ian and Bernadette Howard - they are now cultivating the first commercially viable crop of Woad in Britain for over 70 years!

They have opened a visitors centre with a really interesting and detailed exhibition space showing the history and tradition of woad and also showing how it is being used in a more contemporary and modern society. 

Ian let me shadow him in the workshop and showed me the best ways to get the most vibrant colours - it was an amazing experience and I learnt so much in such a short space of time (although the highly detailed sheets of instructions beat my messy hand written memory scrawl anyday!)

He also let me dye my own silk scarf - which was not a patch on his own designs but i'm pretty proud of its dottyness and uniqueness none the less!

I learnt so many interesting things about Woad and Weld and the importance of the White stage!!

So hopefully when I come to do a little experimenting of my own in the near future i'll have some good results...watch this space!!


Zoe Grace Fletcher Currently undertaking a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University within the MIRIAD post-graduate department, I am beginning a practice based academic journey into British wool fibres and new technologies within knitwear design. Graduating with Distinction from a Masters in Fashion and the Environment at London College of Fashion, specialising in hand-knitting and the British Wool Industry, I have worked on a number of knitwear collections (personal and external companies), whilst freelancing and researching for a number of exciting projects. My work revolves around the idea of sustainable fashion from a knitted perspective and the different ways to achieve this incorporating the ideas of slow fashion into mainstream society. I love knitting. And wool. And double sided sticky tape.
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