Patternmaking workshops

During lockdown I’ve had more time to explore and document my pattern making process – and share with other makers too. I have so enjoyed the online workshops I’ve done with students all over the world – something I would never have expected and which has been a real treat in these other wise quite […]

Dyeing with weld

This is a quick blog to tell you more about dyeing with weld – one of our most ancient and powerful of dye plants. Until the 1930’s it was still commercially grown in this country and I hope one day we will return to it as it is so very generous in colour and so […]

Dyeing with rhubarb root with a surprise ending!

Rhubarb is one of my favourite ever plants to dye with and one of the first I ever discovered. I grow lots on my allotment because it is so useful and versatile and ofcourse delicious to eat as well! To make dye from this plant you need to dig up the root and after cleaning […]

Have a go at Natural Dyeing using common garden plants

I’ve been really missing my Wild Textiles workshops when I take groups of students foraging on the Downs for plants which make natural dyes – nearly all plants make some kind of colour and once we get back to the workshop we get to experiment with lots of wonderful leaves, roots and flowers – we […]

Learning to Love Wool

My friend and collaborator on the Steyning Imprint,  Alice keeps a flock of sheep. To me they always seemed like rather strange creatures to be interested in – wonderful as lambs (and very tasty) but rather stupid looking as they got older. But this was before I learned to love wool. Every summer Alice pays […]

Slow Beauty

I’ve always been a bit of a hippie – I worked for the new economics foundation for many years where our slogan was ‘economics as if people and the planet matters’ so I’ve always been interested in alternative ways of doing things and making the radical alternative not only possible but real. When I left […]

Learning how to block print with natural dyes

This is something I’ve been fascinated by for a very long time and over the years pieces of the jigsaw puzzle have gradually fallen into place. Finally after much trial and error I have developed a simple process of block printing with natural dyes that I’m reasonably confident in and am able to reproduce and […]

Coming out as Sarah Burns Patterns

I’ve called my textile dyeing & printing business Dora Fabrics since I graduated from Chelsea – somehow it felt safer to be someone else but now I’m finally coming out as me – Sarah Burns Patterns and it feels good! Here is more about me, what inspires me and how I work (thanks to www.handprinted.com […]

Celebrating Barron and Larcher – textile designers

This is an extract of a longer talk I gave at the Steyning Bookshop on the 15th November 2018 to celebrate the launch of the book I co-edited with Michal Silver, ‘Barron & Larcher – textile designers’ Up to last year I was working as a hand printer at Ivo’s screen printing factory in Southall. […]

Printing with resists & indigo dyeing

I’ve always loved working in negative – that’s the printer in me. When you cut a lino block you remove the parts you don’t want to keep so that the final image is the result of the all the marks you didn’t make…. if that makes sense. I’ve experimented with lots of different ways of […]