The University of Brighton presents Beyond the Blue – Woad Symposium

Woad Symposium June 13th 2014.

Beyond the Blue: This one-day European-based symposium will investigate the neglected story of the history, present and future of natural woad from field to fashion.

Once as a hugely successful and important commercial basic product of the European textile industry throughout the Middle Ages and on through the 19th century, woad was the basis of a long and successful trade between Britain and Northern France, which will explored here by British and French scholars. The replacement and demise of woad growing, due to large scale importation of indigo from China, India and the West Indies by the eighteenth century will also be examined. A further theme, presented by today's growers, designers and makers, set against current concerns over issues of sustainability, will assess the possibilities inherent in the use of this brilliant blue natural dye within today’s international fashion and textiles industries.

This event forms part of the ‘Beyond the Blue - Waide Project’ with the following partners: ‘Amiens Metropole, Musée de Picardie, Amiens Métropole Libraries, 'Maison de la Culture' in Amiens, University of Brighton, Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton & Hove, Care Co-ops and Fabrica Gallery.

This conference is also closely linked to a specific University of Brighton fashion show 'Beyond Blue' which will showcase textiles and garments inspired by the colours of woad dye, as well as woad fabric installations created by students from the Université de Picardie. This event will take place in the evening after this conference.

Draft Agenda

AM: THE GOLDEN CENTURIES OF WOAD IN EUROPE chaired by Lou Taylor, Prof. of fashion/textiles, Univ of Brighton

9.45am – Doors open and refreshments
10.15am – Introduction and welcome Ann Boddington, Dean Faculty of Arts Univ. of Brighton, (or Jules Findley. Head of Dept of Fashion/Textile Design) and Alain Corbiere, Amiens.
10.30am – Ian Howard - The Botany of Woad  
10.45am  – To be confirmed   
11.30am – 11.45 Tea / Coffee
11.45am – Etienne Hamon – Professor of Medieval Art History, Université de Picardie, Gothic Images from the country of cocagne – the sculptures of woad dyers at Amiens Cathedral. (Images gothiques du pays de cocagne: les sculptures des guédiers de la cathédrale d’Amiens
12.15am – Lou Taylor / Charlotte Nicklas from Woad to Indigo
12.45am – 1.00 Discussion

PM: WOAD REVIVAL AND THEMES OF DESIGN AND SUSTAINABILTY chaired by Dr. Caterina Radvan. Head of Textiles, University of Brighton

2.00pm – Dr Allison Gwilt – Introduction to sustainable solutions in Fashion and Textile today
2.30pm – Ian Howard – Production and uses of WOAD today
3.00pm – To be confirmed
3.30pm – Tea / Coffee
4.00pm – University of Brighton students will present their woad research, textiles and garment introduced by Dr. Caterina Radvan.
4.20pm – University of Picardie students will present their woad fabric installations introduced by Alain Corbières (Beyond Blue)
4.40pm – Discussion


to the Newsletter

the press file

the program