The first event at the new space was an amazing success and there could not have been a better way to start. Linking in with Cordwainers Grow we opened our doors to the amazing emerging natural dyer Ayo Ogundayo from @_95_ap who showed us how to use millet leaves grown in africa to create colour on linen.
Working on premade linen headscarves patterns were designed using rubbber bands, clips and lolly sticks as well as twisting and tying. Whilst we call these techniques shibori after the Japanese work they are methods that are used all over the world by different cultures. Ayo's cultural background from Nigeria has led her to research new colours from plants that evoke this including the millet leaves of the waakye or sorghum. Traditionally used in cooking from Ghana to Nigeria and Benin, Ayo noticed a friend using them and decided to see if it would work on fabric. Like most natural dyes you can achieved a depth of colour within the confines of 2 hour class but if you can wait and leave the dye stuffs in water for longer then you will rewarded with deeper colours.
Everyone left the class with beautifully patterened scarves in differening shades of dusky reddish brown happily chatting about all that had been shared and how much they had enjoyed being outside in such a calm and beautiful space. We have been left with the extra millet leaves and a couple of pots of deep colour to experiment with so watch this space for some more experiments. A huge thank you to Ayo for sharing her knowledge, Hone for the space and Cordwainers Grow for asking us.