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SDC International Design Competition North of England Regional Heat, AGM & Imperial Purple to Day-glo Pink: the colourful story of textiles

Date: March 9, 2016 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location: SDC, Perkin House, Bradford, BD1 2LU


  • The North of England regional heat of the SDC International Design Competition 2016 will be held on Wednesday 9th March at Perkin House from 2.30pm and will be followed at 7pm by a presentation from Susan Kay-Williams, CEO, Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court Palace, London ‘Imperial Purple to Day-glo Pink: the colourful story of textiles’.

    The day-time programme commences at 2.30pm and will include a dyeing workshop, guest presentations and judging of entries from fashion/textile design undergraduates from universities and colleges across the North of England by a panel of industry professionals:
    • Linda Hodgson, Textile Designer, Linda Hodgson Design
    • Joanne Cocker –Textile Designer, Jojo Coco Design
    • Martin Aveyard, Design Director at Moon/Bronte

    The evening programme will include:

    6pm – free buffet
    7pm – lecture by Susan Kay-Williams. For information about Susan, please see the Speakers tab
    8pm – the announcement of the winner of the regional heat of the SDC International Design Competition and presentations to long serving SDC members
    8.15pm – Annual General Meeting

    Attendance is free but please contact to reserve your place.

    There is plenty of street-parking around Perkin House as well as several car parks.

  • Susan Kay-Williams

    Professionally I have worked for non-profit organizations for most of my working life and my PhD was undertaken while working full time on the impact of the external environment on charity fundraising and marketing. In particular I have held senior posts at Girlguiding UK , Garden Organic and since 2007 have been in my current post as Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace, which brings together my non-profit experience, my academic side and my love of textiles. The RSN was founded in 1872 and maintains its role of keeping the arts and techniques of hand embroidery alive through a vibrant teaching programme of short courses, Certificate and Diploma in technical hand embroidery and a BA (Hons) in hand embroidery for Fashion, Interiors and Textile Art.

    My research interest has long been in textiles and especially dyeing. I began experientially in 1988 exploring natural dyeing but soon became fascinated by questions such as who had first discovered dyeing? Which came first the desire for colour or the ability to create colour? This led me to start researching and to realize that prehistoric man gets a bad press because they did not write anything down, however, they tested everything and it was this that led them to discovering the complexities of murex and indigo dyeing, the use of insects for red and the value of urine for dyeing and bleaching, amongst other things.

    My research showed that there were separate books on a number of individual dyestuffs (indigo, madder, cochineal) and on colours (blue, black and green) but nothing which brought the whole history together. This led me to write The Story of Colour in Textiles as a book for interested lay audiences and undergraduates. I now lecture on the subject across the UK and more recently in the USA and Germany. Meanwhile my research continues, currently focusing on the first 50 years of synthetic dyes and the rise of recipe sample books and seasonal colour charts for fashion.

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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