Selvedge Talks To Polly Lyster of Dyeworks


This winter we are hosting an Advent Festival, made up of a two fairs and a week of festive workshops. Opening the festival is the Merchants' Fair and joining us is Polly Lyster of 'Dyeworks'. Selvedge talks to her about her love of textiles and her favourite kind of Sunday... IMG_7088_MG_7529

What made you start working with textiles?

Always at my happiest when I was sewing a piece of cloth, or quilting or stitching or sticking, any passtime that meant fabrics were involved.

What is it about textiles that captured your attention?

Colour and pattern, stitch and weave.

What inspires you?

Colours in nature


Who inspires you?

Lucy Goffin, Hiroyuki Shindo: shibori artist, Elizabeth Baer

What is your favourite part of the process of sourcing/ making/ doing what you do?

Very hard to choose just one: exploring French markets for fine hemps and linens, indigo dyeing, especial love of folding, clamping, stitching cloth and mixing up a natural vat, washing through and hanging cloth on washing lines. A full washing line in summer sunshine is the happiest sight for me.

What’s the hardest part, what do you dislike?

Long drives to fairs to set up at the crack of dawn, and packing down at the end with a long drive home.


Where do you live and why have you chosen to be here?

In Gloucestershire, wet wooded valley with 3 quarters of an acre of land, so lot’s and lot’s of washing lines. Weaving and dyeing valley and ours is a weavers cottage so I feel very at home.

What’s your ideal Sunday?

After a full english breakfast a walk with the dog with the kids and then build a big fire, full pot of tea and excellent film while doing a small job like repairing a quilt happy by the fire with exhausted dog by my side.

If you could fly anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go and why?

Japan to explore the natural indigo vats and the Japanese way of living and their philosophy of life.


What’s your favourite colour?


What are you reading at the moment?

Wool and water, history of weaving mills in the stroud region. And light reading : The Moonstone; Wilkie Collins, brilliant read, half way through.

Make sure to visit Polly's stall, along with a carefully chosen collection of others at our Merchant's Fair.

26 November

St Augustine's Church Hall, Highgate, London N6 5BB

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  • nancy golob on

    when is my subscription up?
    I love Selvedge – dont want to
    miss a single issue

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