Saturday, 7 May 2011


My brain is still overloaded with all the information that bombarded us in La Rochelle but I am still experiencing the warm glow of hope offered by the Symposium - a machine developed in Taiwan that can dye fabric in natural colours in industrially sensible quantities; the high quality extracts being produced in Europe as well as Asia; the coming together of all manner of people from 80 countries in pursuit of the goal of making natural dyeing culturally and commercially viable and forging new relationships. If you want the ultimate networking format, ISEND is it!

Delegates ranged from university professors to practioners, via dye producers to retailers, fashion designers, textile students, chemists, anthropologists, historians, botanists and individuals who like to 'play.' Friendships were forged - and a sense of community created, particularly necessary for those of us who sometimes feel we are a lone, eccentric voice preaching to the uninterested.

And there is more moth mating today - so if only the weather would improve so the dye plants can go out, all would absolutely perfect. The rain is much needed, though the bees aren't terribly keen and I am going to Maristow Gardens tomorrow to help Jenny Tunley Price start the dye garden - sh e has been using a digger this weekend, so I hope we are not going to be drowned in mud! If you don't know about Maristow, look at

I am off to my land guild, Peter Tavy, to talk about Isend with my travelling companion, Paddy Younge, then this afternoon I must start potting on the Japanese indigo before they all expire from overcrowding.

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