Iron blanket eco dyeing onto fabric with Jane Fox

Ref: S2D32755

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About this course

Explore iron blanket eco dyeing onto fabric with artist Jane Fox, using leaves that you have collected from the Arboretum and grounds at West Dean. The course involves some walking and foraging for materials.

Course Description

On this course, you will be introduced to an eco-dyeing technique for fabric that uses oak gall, iron and natural plant and leaf material. You will prepare the fabrics for dyeing and go foraging for leaves and plant material in the Arboretum and grounds at West Dean. You will use the leaves you have collected to create designs on silk bamboo and cotton fabrics.

Oak gall and iron together create a colour range of bluey greys towards black, and we will spend time together exploring the reactive properties of the tannin rich oak gall and iron solutions on paper, as well as fabric.

The iron blanket process results in a purposefully eco printed fabric, alongside what is called a ‘ghost printed’ fabric. This offers opportunities to build on the dyeing process in layers, taking the ghost printed fabrics back through the process in interesting and often unpredictable ways.

On day two, you will be supported to focus on developing the ghost printed fabric with further collecting of materials and taking them back through the dyeing process, allowing you to build on what you have learned on day one.

Iron blanket eco-dyeing results in a stable dyed fabric that can be gently washed by hand.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course, the tutor and college will supply almost all of the materials, including fabrics and natural dyes. Leaves and other small plant material will be collected on forays into the gardens and Arboretum during the course.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring a bag for collecting leaves
  • Wear sturdy shoes and waterproof clothing in the grounds in case of bad weather
  • An apron, covered non-slip footwear are essential in the studio
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Please note that this course will involve walking in the grounds and collecting leaves for making eco printed fabric. Some of the dye materials and equipment used on this course will have come into contact with various nuts, so may not be suitable for those with nut allergies or sensitivity to dye plants.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A selection of additional papers and fabrics if required.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Jane Fox

Jane has an MA in Contemporary Visual Art from Falmouth College of Arts. An experienced facilitator, she has worked with Carnival Collective, Rocket Artists and Fine Art Printmaking students at the University of Brighton. Jane has exhibited in London, the Southeast and internationally and is a director at East Side Print, Brighton.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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