Naturally occurring dyes contain chemicals as do modern synthetic dyes. Indeed, all insects, minerals and plants that are part of dyes are made up of some chemicals or another. Therefore it is sensible and indeed important to take some basic safety precautions. Every natural dyeing course we offer contains a health and safety element advising how to use and store natural dyes.
A good proportion of what follows is good old fashioned common sense but we think it is worth saying, once again...
Keep Dyes Separate
Treat all chemicals with proper care and attention just in case some are poisonous or may cause irritations to the skin.
Ideally, work and store the dyes in a work room or area separate from the rest of your property. If this is not possible, work in a well ventilated area, away from food preparation areas, children and pets.
Store all chemicals and dyes safely in clearly labelled containers and out of reach of children and pets.
Any pots used for natural dyeing should not be used for cooking or food preparation.
5. Protect yourself properly by using eye safety glasses, aprons and gloves, and a mask if using natural extracts that are like dust. Avoid skin contact and accidental ingestion or inhalation.
6. Avoid eating, drinking or smoking when handling dyes.
7. Dyes will stain your clothes and other objects.. that's what they are meant to do! Wear appropriate clothing together with your apron.
8. Don't let children anywhere near to natural dyes and boiling vessels
9. Large pots of water are heavy (1 litre of water is 1 kilogram in weight or 10 litres is 10 kilograms (1 and a half Stones in old money) and when boiling are very hot. Be sure that you can lift them and if not ask someone who can.
10. If any dyes or other chemicals are in contact with our eyes or you swallow and chemicals, seek medical advice!
Lots of this is just common sense. Follow this basic advice and your natural dyeing journey will not only be safe, it will be great source of enjoyment.
Natural Dyeing Craft Courses
Learn how to hand dye protein fibres (animal fibres such as sheep wool, alpaca, yak and silk) or cellulose fibres (plant fibres such as cotton, linen, hemp and bamboo) using the traditional natural dyes. The craft courses are a hands on learning experience using ancient dyes such as Madder, Weld, and Cochineal, to name a few, in their natural form as well as extract.
Located in the north Pembrokeshire countryside, our hands-on craft courses are held in a purpose designed Dye Studio. These courses are suitable for complete beginners and those that have a little experience. They are the foundation blocks of good practice for you to build and develop your own natural dye journey.