Naturally creative

News article

Naturally creative

From searching forest floors to beachcombing, workshop teams at The Croft went the extra mile this summer to find natural materials to enhance their products.

It was fun getting out and about together, and then experimenting with things they collected to add a special twist to pot pourri, soaps, textiles and more.

Using vegetable dyes

Joanna was in the vegetable dyeing group. She says, ‘I joined because I quite like getting messy!

‘We found out that turmeric is really good. It comes out bright yellow. We dyed some fleece and some cotton so that Joseph, who does rag rugs, could use the material to make a yellow rug.

‘We also found out that blackberries and blueberries work. We went to go and find some berries this summer and have a nice walk. And we went to the seaside to get seaweed.’

Penny, who leads the workshop, adds: ‘We started a little garden, too, to grow plants like woad, madder and indigo.

'You have to stir them'

Mark explains how they made their natural dyes. ‘You have to put the things in water and let them steam’, he says. ‘You have to stir them. And then you pour the water out through a sieve into a bucket. And then you put the wool in.

'There was lots going on'

Over in the soap group, foraged driftwood added an authentic touch to seaside-themed pot pourri – and wild rosehips, calendula and lavender came in handy for soaps and bath bombs.

‘There was lots going on’, says Jamie. ‘We made different soaps, in all different colours.’ It was all about group effort and imagination – naturally!