Tee Shirt latest

Here’s the latest news about our dyeing experiments with Tee shirts…

A couple of weeks ago we wrote a bit about getting the Woad dye out of  the leaves  that we had grown in the secret garden in school (this is called extracting the dye).  For the past two weeks we have been finding out about dyeing using Woad and Weld, the other plant we grew in the garden.

Woad is a traditional dye in the East Midlans and used to be grown all over the countryside.  It’s a very good dye for making things blue – if you own a pair of blue jeans they are probably dyed using a form of Woad!

We took some Woad that had been extracted from Woad plants and Yr6 dyed some white cotton tee shirts.  Below are two photos, the first is just minutes after they were dyed and the tee shirts are still wet,  the second shows them the next day after they were dried.


Here are two tee shirts dyed with Woad


Here are the same tee shirts after they’ve dried out.

We have been investigating whether it matters if you wet the tee shirts BEFORE you dye them – it does!

  • If they are wet you get a ‘blotchy’ pattern which is quite nice ( you can see it on the dried shirts above.
  • If they are dry you get a very plain even colour.

We have also been looking at ‘tie-dyeing’ – where you tie a piece of string, or a rubber band, around the tee shirts before you dye it and it makes a pretty pattern.

So, here are the latest results…

The first photo shows two tee shirts dyed with Woad, the one on the left tie-dyed and the one on the right wet dyed.


Then, we took two other tee shirts dyed in a similar way and over-dyed them with Weld, the yellow dye.

Two tee shirts dyed with Woad (blue) and Weld (yellow) to give Lincoln Green


As you can see this gives us green tee shirts, but it’s not just any old Green it’s called Lincoln Green and it’s the colour that Robin Hood and his Merry Men (and Maid Marion) wore so that they couldn’t be seen in Sherwood Forest!

Science, Art and History – All in one project!  Result!

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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