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  • A Colourful Past – Exhibition at Leeds Industrial Museum

A Colourful Past – Exhibition at Leeds Industrial Museum

Date: March 24, 2016 1:00 am – 7:00 pm

Location: Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, Canal Rd, Leeds LS12 2QF


  • This exhibition runs from 22 March – 31 July and uncovers the colourful story of over two centuries of dyeing expertise in Leeds and reveals a new project to recreate natural dyes.

    The city has been home to some of the largest mills in the world, where dyers, dyemakers and chemists turned woollen goods into colourful garments. Benjamin Gott, owner of Armley Mills in the nineteenth century, had his son learn the trade in the dyehouse. He produced his own dye recipe book using natural dyes to show that he had learned his trade.

    The Heritage Dyers Group recreated the dye recipes in Gott’s book with the help of dyeing expert Debbie Tomkies of DT Craft & Design. “Today’s dyers are very environmentally aware so some of the chemicals used without a thought 200 years ago are now frowned upon,” Debbie explained. “Natural dyestuffs that were cheap and plentiful in 1815 are now rare and we had to brush up our 19th century English to decipher some of the old terms and chemical names.”

    Come and see the colourful samples they produced, using natural dyes, a blend of old knowledge and modern technology!

Society of Dyers and Colourists

Perkin House, 82 Grattan Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 2LU, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1274 725138, Email:
Charity Registration No: 212331, VAT No: 247 9485 55

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