Friday, 11 December 2009

Victorian Farm Christmas

The Christmas specials of the Victorian Farm start tonight at 9pm on BBC2. I love this programme - apart from the fact that Ruth is a good friend I think that they are really well presented and thought out. The whole team work well together, not just the presenters.

Why am I telling you about it - not just because I love the programme but also I am going to be in it! Not sure which of the 3 episodes it will be, but I was invited along to dye ribbons in natural dyes for the Christmas decorations and presents.

Here's Ruth and I during the filming, I actually really enjoyed it - I hate having cameras round me, can even be funny about having my photo taken, but Ruth was so good at leading and the crew were fabulous to work with.

The filming was back in June and I did mention in my blog then that I had been to Shropshire. What I would really like to express is my thanks to the Society of Dyers and Colourists for lending us the original sample of Mauvein that they have in their display at Perkin House, Bradford. You can see the wooden box in this picture - it is the original box that was posted by
William Perkin and still carries the stamp and post mark on the side. The yarns inside are silk and cotton. The colour is absolutely stunning, I may not want to work with the synthetic colours - but it is very obvious why they caused such a stir when you see them close up like this!

We had hoped to try out some new fangled chemical dyes as well as the natural dyes during the filming, but time did really run away with us, so I would like to express my thanks to Kemtex as well for supplying us with some samples to try. Everyone I approached was really helpful.

We used cochineal, weld and indigo in the ribbon dyeing. Ruth was made to work and I supervised, the colours we achieved I think you will agree are pretty fine!

Ribbon dyeing workshops are one of my favorites to run particularly round the November/December time as you can really personalize your Christmas presents with them. All done for this year - but there's always 2010!

8 comments:

Knitsister said...

I watched first episode with Anna-Maria and we both loved it. Can't wait for next Friday and look forward to seeing you in it. I don't have many friends that are in 'show biz'.

Anonymous said...

great programme, really enjoyed this first episode... looking forward to this friday.
I just love victorian farm!

Helen said...

Hi Debbie in the opening collage of events there was brief flash of you and Ruth pulling the ribbon out. I really liked the programme and am looking forward to seeing you!

Debbie said...

The filming took several hours - so it'll be interesting to see how they've edited it!
There was a bit on Country Tracks last Sunday with again the red dye and the ribbons coming out, and Ruth and I walking out of the wash-house round to the kitchen.
The programme is very good, the 3 presenters are very thorough in their research - I think it shows!
Looking forward to the other episodes myself!

gill said...

i love this series- i watch every episode
how exciting for you to be in it !!!
congrats!
gill

Debbie said...

How exciting to be on tv! Congratulations on a great programme : )

Debbie said...

Thanks very much, Debbie and Gill, Christmas Eve prime time was quite stunning!!!

Why they have to say things wrong though I don't know! I was very clear when filming that the urine was used to brighten the weld and to make the indigo bath NOT to fix the colour!!!! Ah well!!

Back to my normal life now!

pleasesavetheplanet said...

Just watched the program. Really enjoyed it, to the extent I have been looking up the process for dyeing ribbons, and hence stumbled upon this site. The yellow particularly caught my eye.

Thank you for imparting such wonderful knowledge.

Belinda