‘Cloth wears but never dies’

I started my creative journey with the dyeing of textiles in Sierra Leone; At 13 my fascination with African hand dye textiles began. The fact that you could take a piece of plain cloth tie it or wax it, dye it and suddenly have a completely new cloth got my attention, the putting on of patterns with string or wax attracted me. My main fascination was actually with the process of dyeing and changing colors. I realize that with careful planning and re-introduction of new colors you could have at least 4 or 5 invention of the cloth but still understand that you started with a plain cloth that carried the story.

One of my  usual trips to West Africa i was struck by the high importation of machine printed fabric flooding the local markets, these fabric sold very cheap and of lower quality What had happened to the traditional dyers? The question of where the tradition stood and how long the tradition of hand dyed would last, was my trajectory into researching not only the state of the craft but how can the tradition be revived and brought into contemporary practice. the Gara, Chube, Adire dyers of West africa continue this tradition although more and more synthetic dyes are use especially the VAT dyes.

Cultivating Colour

Bluegold Farm cultivates plants that have traditionaly been used as dyes. With the main focus on growing various types of indigo.  The revival of the tradition of extracting the dyes from various plant cultivated and wild will play a large part of  farm activities follow us on our dyeing journey at  www.garafini.com

Talking Patterns

Using traditional dyeing techniques these workshops provide ‘hands on’ practical experience in one of the world  oldest crafts. The workshops will covers  the visual language of textile patterns, the symbolism attached to them and how patterns and symbols can be used to store knowledge.A practical and fun class book for a day or longer.  You always take something back with you.  Suitable for all ages.  For bookings and more infomation.