Archive for July 2014

Natural Dyeing Workshop

On Friday July 25th clients from First Base participated in a Natural Dyeing Workshop, learning about how natural materials were once used to dye fabrics such as drapes and bed linen. Clients then experimented with traditional dyeing methods to achieve a range of vibrant colours.

Natural Dyeing WorkshopWe began the workshop by weighing out 100g of onion skins which we then added water to and brought to the boil. Once boiling, we reduced the heat and added some linen handkerchiefs. While the onion skins simmered, we repeated the process with stinging nettles, this time adding the fabric before bringing the water to the boil. Both pans were left simmering for around 45 minutes, with the nettles producing a yellow dye and the onion skins creating a wonderfully vibrant orange.
The clients then created their ‘dye wraps’, choosing materials from a range of flowers, plants, bark and nut shells. They folded the fabric to produce unique patterns. Three of the wraps were submerged in boiling water while the remaining three were placed in a dye bath containing woad; a plant used to achieve a blue colour.
Natural Dyeing WorkshopFinally, the group used 25g of Cochineal, dried beetle bodies, to dye 50g of fabric. The Cochineal was soaked and we then added our fabric at different stages to create varying degrees of pink. Each client produced a patterned handkerchief from their dye wraps and a cotton bag, dyed using onion skins, nettles or cochineal.

This activity has been interesting and fulfilling


I did something today that I’d never done before

Summer Heritage Drawing Group

Summer Heritage Drawing GroupClients of BHT’s Heritage Project have been visiting Brighton and Hove’s iconic landmarks this Summer as part of a six-week heritage drawing group.

The group of clients from First Base have not only been trying their hand at sketching the city’s unique architecture, but they have also been learning about the rich heritage of Brighton and Hove’s historical attractions. The group has already visited the Victoria Fountain in Old Steine Gardens, which was inaugurated in 1846 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s twenty-seventh birthday, and Brighton Dome, which was initially built as Royal Stables and later converted into a concert hall.

Summer Heritage Drawing Group

Over the next four weeks the drawing group will take in Brunswick Square, the Peace Statue, Brighton Pier, the Royal Pavilion, the West Pier and the Bandstand.

Clients have enjoyed seeing the city from a different perspective:

It’s been nice to take some time out and just do something a little different.

Sketching is very relaxing and makes the stress levels go down.