Textile artist, dyer, printer and ink-maker Catherine Lewis produces her eco textile and paper artwork and handmade inks at her workshop in Cardiff, capitol city of Wales; she is inspired by the natural beauty, local materials and the post-industrial vistas of her native Welsh landscape. Catherine’s work combines sustainable, handmade and recycled materials with both ancient traditional and contemporary technique.
Watch her on the BBC Countryfile Autumn special:
Buy her unique work here, visit the lovely Kilver Court Farm Shop, the delightful little Princes and Paupers shop in Castle Arcade Cardiff or come to her workshop to say hi, try writing in ink, try on and order bespoke items.
Her sumptuous but eco-conscious textiles, materials, artworks, fashion pieces and home goods don’t cost the earth, have healing plant properties and full local provenance.
‘Chemical dyes and textiles can be really bad for our health and that of those who make them – my products are not. I carefully source only non-harmful chemicals and dyes from plants and food waste; I use only recycled fabrics, organic UK silk, wool and sustainable, ethically produced, chemical-free hemp and bamboo fibres.’
Each piece is hand-made, dyed and printed in Cardiff, Wales, and every item is unique.
‘All of my bespoke dyeing and printing services are done with the greatest respect for our planet and people. I believe in creating harmlessly and strive to create luxury with zero or little waste, zero or low carbon footprint, locally sourced materials and labour‘.
Catherine is able to dye and print a wide variety of materials. She is highly skilled in colour matching and has an extensive knowledge of the various dyes and fibres required to achieve the best results. Catherine can also teach you to make your own healthy, organic inks, textiles and papers on a workshop either at the Cardiff studio or your own setting.
She can supply bespoke cloth for
- Fashion & interior
- Costume/breakdown work for TV, film and theatre
- Artist’s materials – inks, dyes, papers
- Surface pattern designs
- Art installations
- Colour matching and consultation
..don’t see what you’re looking for listed? Please ask.
Dyeing: Catherine dyes small batches of natural fibres and cloth to order: fleeces for felters and spinners, yarn for weavers and knitters, flat textiles and garments for designers and makers, cushions, lampshades and covers for interiors. Specialised dyeing techniques are available such as dipped, ombre, sprayed and patch dyeing.
She predominantly uses dyes made from seasonal local plants, berries, nuts, flowers, leaves and woods. She also uses local natural pigments such as charcoal, rust and earth. Her mordants are home made if possible, from things like rhubarb, tannin, vinegar and iron. Occasionally it’s necessary to use small amounts of synthetic dyes if a project requires it, but this is always done in a low impact way, with little or no waste. Each project is individually priced depending on its costs and time.
Sampling: costs £15 per colour. First supply a sample of at least 5cm square. Up to 3 fabric swatches can be sampled at a time; for more swatches or for larger pieces requiring sampling get in touch.
The price of the full dye service will depend on the type of dye that is to be used, the weight and type of the material that is to be dyed and whether any pattern or finish needs to be added. Fabric can be dyed in lengths of up to 5 metres.
Due to the beautiful unique nature of natural dyes, colours may vary however every effort will be taken to create an even tone. All fabrics must be sampled before Catherine can dye large quantities.
Printing: Catherine can produce decorated and textured surface patterned cloth using a variety of techniques. Natural pigment printing is our preferred method but she can work with acid dye prints for silk, wool and nylon or reactive prints for hemp, viscose, bamboo, cotton and linens. Sublimation printing is used for synthetics. Photographic blueprints can be produced onto any natural fibres. She is also a specialist in more complex print and dyeing processes such as discharge, devoré, foiling and flock. Each project is individually priced depending on its costs and time.