RMIT BRUNSWICK, MELBOURNE

31 AUGUST – 1 SEPTEMBER 2018

Natural dye conference

A two day event for industry on the creation and use of Australian botanical colour in textiles. 

Colour capability

Drawing professionals and seasoned practitioners together over two days, the conference provides an opportunity to hear from experts in farming, processing, manufacturing and researching natural dyes.   The Natural Dye Conference explores the opportunities that botanical dyes present for local fibre industries.

 

FOR LAND OWNERS

Hear how growing colour can add value to the local textile industry. Learn what your users want and find collaborations to support your aims.

FOR PROCESSORS

Connect to the eco-design market. Explore the interest in natural dyes from a design perspective. Build skills and knowledge around growing and applying colour.

FOR DYERS

The conference will build your access to new research, support, resources and opportunities to collaborate with the supply chain. It is a unique opportunity to strengthen the local dye community.

FOR BRANDS

Explore opportunities to using natural dyes in your work. Find natural dyers and local textile suppliers to collaborate with. Discover answers to keeping impacts low at scale.

Theme & Program

From micro to macro  – scaling natural systems for the textile industry. 

FRIDAY 31 AUGUST

8:30am doors open

9:00am opening & group work session

10:00am morning tea 

10:15 the natural dye system at scale

The Natural Dye System at Scale
The Natural Dye System at Scale

Meriel Chamberlin and Panel (Christopher Hurren, Barbara Wheeler and questions by Nic Hetherington)

Meriel will present her experience as a dye technician of using natural dyes in her all Australian cotton brand, Full Circle Fibres. The panel will discuss use of natural dyes at different industry scales. (Photo: Lolo Beau)

11:30am local cloth

Local Cloth
Local Cloth

Facilitated group session

Slow fashion designers and natural dyers work with naturally derived fabric bases. This session will present the US Fibershed Community Supported Cloth model as a means by which we can prototype local cloth production in our Fibreshed.

12:45pm lunch

1:30pm microeconomics of bush dyes

Microeconomics of Bush Dyes
Microeconomics of Bush Dyes

Kirsten Smith, Cherry Smiler and Janet Herbert

Kirsten (Memories of Country), Cherry (graduated artist from Marnin Studios) and Janet (Walibirri Designs) from Gooniyandi/Fitzroy Crossing will present the Natural Fashion Collection presented at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair 2018. The session will look the success of bush dye social enterprises and opportunities to collaborate.

2:45pm afternoon tea

3:000pm eucalyptus dyes

Eucalptus Dye Database
Eucalptus Dye Database

Sally Blake and Panel (Belinda Evans, Rowan Reid and Nic Heatherington)

Sally Blake's Database is the culmination of research into the colour produced from over 200 species of Eucalyptus. Sally will present her work in this session and we will discuss the potential of Eucalyptus dyes with a diverse panel. Sally is bringing her exhibition to Melbourne for the first time as part of the Conference and will be available for viewing both days.

4:30pm closing

5:00pm close

SATURDAY 1 SEPTEMBER

9:00am doors open

9:30am opening

10:15 morning tea

10:30 the research spot

The Research Spot
The Research Spot

Kiri Delly

Kiri Delly, Associate Dean, Industry Engagement - RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles, will kick off this fast-paced session with an introduction to RMIT Fashion and Textiles offerings, including courses. The floor will then be opened to participants to present 5 minute sessions on their latest dye discoveries and projects.

11:45am organic indigo

Indigo the Organic Way
Indigo the Organic Way

Heather Thomas and Panel (Tamara Leacock and Fibershed)

Heather will present her most trusted method of setting up an organic indigo vat. And there will be an opportunity to get up close and personal with an organic indigo vat. Dip-dye your own infinity scarf.

12:45pm lunch

1:30am native indigo

Native Indigo
Native Indigo

Barriers break down session

Opportunities for natural indigo production and use in Australia. As a group we will discuss common barriers to extracting colour from this native plant and together design a program towards open source information and processes.

2:45pm afternoon tea

3:00pm collaboration session

Collaboration Session
Collaboration Session

Focusing on collaborations between agriculture, artisans, processors, educators, researchers and designers this session will build relationships. Bring a sample of your work to talk to during this session.

4:30pm closing

5:00pm close

ON BOTH DAYS
Indigo the Organic Way
Indigo the Organic Way

Heather Thomas

Held on both days, this hands on workshop will allow you to get up close and personal with an organic indigo vat. Dip-dye your own infinity scarf.

Eucalptus Dye Exhibition
Eucalptus Dye Exhibition

Sally Blake

Sally Blake's exhibition is the culmination of research into the colour produced from over 200 species of Eucalyptus. Sally will bring her exhibition to Melbourne for the first time as part of the Conference.

Extraction
Extraction

Tenfold Textile Collective

Tenfold Textile Collective brings a contemporary exhibition of natural dye textile work to the conference. A collaborative exhibition showcasing the talented RMIT alumni group.

SPEAKERS AND PANEL MEMBERS
Meriel Chamberlin
Meriel Chamberlin

Full Circle Fibres

Meriel is a passionate textile technologist, crafter and mother of 2. She lives with her family trying to tread lightly on this world in their sustainably renovated house in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Meriel gained her BSc (Hons) in Textile Science and Technology at UMIST in Manchester in their School of Textiles (now Materials Science), and progressed to a career working with large and small companies with fabric and garment manufacturers and supply chains in Europe, Asia and Australia. Meriel is the founder of Full Circle Fibres, a Queensland based business that links fibre growers to users, respecting the source and the stages along the way as gently and carefully as possible.

Barbara Wheeler
Barbara Wheeler

every thread counts etc

I create garments and accessories in Canberra Australia, from natural fibres, botanical prints and dyes My sustainable clothing designs are offered to challenge the way we think about clothes. I want people to be inspired and enjoy the textures and wearability of natural fibres - to think of their clothes as a second skin. I established my label, every thread counts, as a local response to global ‘fast fashion’ flooding marketplaces with cheap, high volume apparel and home textiles. I promote mindful purchases, long use, repair and re-use of garments and textiles. My arts practice sits at the intersection of traditional craft, fashion, contemporary design and social change - in the community of slow fashion.

Cherry Smiler
Cherry Smiler

Marnin Studio graduated artist

Cherry Smiler is a bush dyer and handblock printer from Muludja community in Gooniyandi country. She is representing her niece Amanda Smith who she works with as graduated artists from the Marnin Studio, at the Marninwarnitukura Women's Resource Centre in Fitzroy Crossing, in the Kimberley WA . Marnin Studio, founded in 2013, creates exquisite contemporary Indigenous hand designed and painted homeware products, including painted boab nuts and exquisite bush dyed and block printed textiles.

Janet Herbert
Janet Herbert

Walibirri Designs

Janet Herbert is a bush dyer, handblock printer and bush medicine maker from Junjuwa community in Bunuba country. She is representing her sister Diane who she works with at the MarraWorraWorra Women's Depot in Fitzroy Crossing, in the Kimberley WA. Diane and her husband Patrick Chungall founded social enterprise Walibirri Designs in 2015. Diane collects plants which she uses to 'bush dye' silk scarves, t-shirts and materials used to make bags. They also make seed jewellery and carve boab nuts. Diane is in pink and Janet is in green.

Nicola Hetherington
Nicola Hetherington

Designer

Interested in international development and the fair trade movement from a young age Nic has found her passion for humanity colliding with the great global challenges of our time. After spending years working and volunteering in social enterprise and Innovation in New Zealand, Nic relocated to Melbourne in March to pursue and contribute to sustainability in fashion globally. She works for a sportswear brand by day and is working on a local sustainability project internally; and continues to contribute to positive systemic change in fashion in the broader fashion and apparel industry with a particular focus on health and wellbeing.

Heather Thomas
Heather Thomas

Owner - Wild Heather, Diploma of Art (studio textile and design)

Heather Thomas is a Melbourne based knitwear designer and maker. Fascinated by yarn, she draws upon a rich colour palette and a long practice in knitting and natural dyeing to explore form and embody simplicity in cloth. Heathers work is informed by her first hand research into traditional textile practices around the globe. Having focused on mastering the art of machine knitting, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and inspiring creativity in others.

Tamara Leacock
Tamara Leacock

Owner/ Creative Director REMUSE

Tamara is a designer and stylist who works with recycled materials, artisan techniques, and Afro-futurist aesthetics. As a designer, she integrates natural and recycled materials into shapes that are androgynous, often free size, and a fluid exploration of natural colour and mood. Tamara has since relocated to Naarm (Melbourne) to launch her label in connection with the lands she now calls home. R E M U S E utilizes natural fabrics, vegan materials, both fiber reactive and mindfully concocted plant-based dyes, and fabrics sourced both locally and globally, with a constant exploration of GOTS certified organic materials, deconstructured and recycled fabrics, and our foundation, unbleached and unaltered calico. Each R E M U S E products are designed and manufactured within our design studio in Collingwood, Victoria, and Ethical Clothing Australia accredited. As a limited edition and made to order brand, R E M U S E welcomes commissions of custom designs that more intimately speak to our clients' personal ethics, while striving to evolve as a sustainable label with each collection and design.REMUSE will also be showing its latest collection Equinox Ascensão in M/FW Street Runway 2 held at Union Lane on Wednesday September 5th and the newest collection will be available at the AFC Curated Shop in Melbourne Town Hall until September 8th.

Christopher Hurren
Christopher Hurren

Deakin University · Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) Research Fellow

Christopher is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Frontier Materials at Deakin University. His research has been focused on the areas of hemp fibres, biomaterials, functional fabrics, organic powder manufacture, ultrasonic wool cleaning, titania sol-gel coatings and polymer extrusion. His expertise is in scale up of research by taking it from the laboratory into industrial manufacture. He was Design Engineer-Interior for the design of a T-model Ford for the 21st Century competition of which Deakin University was a joint winner. Prior to academia, Christopher spent eight years in industry as a textile colourist and fabric finisher and has a strong understanding of the textile manufacturing chain. He has significant knowledge and experience in the testing of textiles and has contributed to two book chapters on this topic.

Kirsten Smith
Kirsten Smith

Change Angels / Memories of Country

Kirsten Smith is a Principal of Change Angels, a boutique change management company helping Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal organisations change cultures, process and workplaces. On a micro community development level she works with Aboriginal, migrant and refugee entrepreneurs to build skills, markets and opportunities to develop small cultural businesses. She is also a Global Sisters business coach and Sister School educator/facilitator providing entrepreneurial skills and support to women entrepreneurs for whom traditional work is not available.

Sally Blake
Sally Blake

Visual Artist

Sally Blake is a visual artist based in Canberra, Australia. She completed her PhD studies in the Textiles Workshop at the Australian National University in 2015. In her practice-led research she explored the relationship between her internal world—a world of images, feelings, thoughts, intuitions, dreams and memories—and the outer world of nature. This research developed from her concern about human-led ecological crises such as climate change and flora and fauna extinctions, and she investigated the contribution that disconnections between humans and nature make to these crises. In her practice she uses textile and paper-based media to examine the synergies, connections and tensions between humans and nature.

Rowan Reid
Rowan Reid

B Forest Science (Hons), M Forest Science

In 1985, at the age of just 24, Rowan co-authored the book Agroforestry in Australia and New Zealand. He has since been a leader in the development of agroforestry education and extension programs in Australia having developed the first undergraduate course in agroforestry in Australia and the very successful Australian Master TreeGrower Program. More than 2000 landholders and their supporters across Australia have completed the 8-day MTG course many of whom are now leaders in the development of multipurpose tree growing within their region and nationally. Rowan was awarded the 2000 Eureka Prize in Environmental Education for his work on the program. In 2007, Rowan extended the MTG program to include training for Peer Group Mentors, a concept first introduced by the Otway Agroforestry Network of which he is a founding member. After more than 20 years as an academic at the University of Melbourne, Rowan is now working privately on his own farm and as a consultant. He is also the managing director of the Australian Agroforestry Foundation which deliver the Master TreeGrower program around the world. Rowan is particularly interested in sharing ideas about how to involve private landholders in multipurpose forest management and the silvicultural management of forests on farms for high quality timber. Rowan has worked in many countries delivering training for professional and farmers and presenting at conferences and workshops. This includes ACIAR research in Indonesia, voluntary Master TreeGrower courses in Africa and East Timor and a sabbatical in North America. Rowan as authored many books, conference papers and scientific papers. His latest book is: Heartwood: The art and science of growing trees for conservation and profit.

Belinda Evans
Belinda Evans

Artisan

Working under the name Alchemy for much of the past decade, Belinda’s diverse artistic practice has centred on her love of sustainable, natural materials such as wood, clay, and linen. She is known for her wall-hangings made by weaving hand-dyed merino wool and cotton fibres together on small looms handcrafted from reclaimed timber. Subtle in hue and highly tactile, Belinda’s freestyle weavings are based on organic patterns that emulate different topographies: rolling sea, lush rainforest, arid desert. These connections are enhanced by Belinda’s use of natural dyes to colour all her yarns; each pigment extracted from a species of native flower, seed or leaf, foraged on her travels across Australia. By day Belinda currently leads the team responsible for curating the businesses trading at the South Melbourne market.

Tenfold
Tenfold

Textile Collective

Tenfold Textile Collective is a group of ten emerging artists who draw inspiration from encouraging, challenging and supporting each other’s practices. They exhibit together on a regular basis – amplifying their own voices and inviting others into their stories. They bring different aesthetics, techniques and life experiences to their shared love of textiles and their commitment to social justice and sustainability – themes that recur in their groups shows. Their work is process driven – where the act of making and exploring, and the experience of creating are outcomes in themselves. Their aim is to continue to learn and develop together, alongside their individual practices, and to be part of the movement bringing contemporary textile art to a wider audience.

PHOTO DIARY OF EVENT
PRESENTATIONS AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD

Festival of Natural Dyes

20 AUGUST – 10 SEPTEMBER 2018

The Natural dye conference is part of the Festival of Natural Dyes. The festival allows further exploration with a program of classes, exhibitions and workshops offered by experts in and around Melbourne. 

Sponsors

Our partners support local economic growth opportunities and sustainable product development. The Festival of Natural Dyes is run entirely by Fibreshed Melbourne volunteers on a non-profit basis. All the support we receive will go towards covering the costs of offering the event.

Platinum Sponsor

Agriculture drives prosperity across Victoria, providing jobs for more than 200,000 people and producing more than $12 billion of food and fibre exports each year underpinning regional prosperity. 

Agriculture Victoria supports this sector by working with the community and industry to enhance productivity; connect the sector with international markets; support growth; and maintain effective biosecurity. Agriculture Victoria staff are highly skilled in delivering and supporting research and innovation, industry development, extension, marketing, policy, regulatory development, compliance and emergency management.

GET IN TOUCH

The Festival of Natural Dyes is bought to you by: