27 February, 2020, 2:00 pm

‘A History of Dyes – from Ancient Egypt to Leeds’

Dr. Christine Holdstock

Leeds City Museum

All Welcome

Dyes have been used since ancient times to colour fabrics, but in modern times are also used for technical as well as aesthetic applications. This talk will highlight natural dyes including some that could only be worn by the most important people, then look at the invention of synthetic dyes which led to brightly coloured fabrics becoming widely available. The importance of the textile industry in Yorkshire led to the foundation of the Yorkshire College of Science in Leeds in 1874, and Dyeing was one of the earliest departments. Now known as the Department of Colour Science, its important contributions will be described.


Dr.Christine Holdstock (MRSC, CCol ASDC, FSDC, FHEA) became involved in colour when she joined Wira (the Wool Industries Research Association) in Leeds, undertaking research into controlling the dyeing process, leading to a PhD from the University of Leeds. Christine was a member of the University’s Department of Colour Chemistry and Dyeing (later known as Colour Science) for over 20 years, when she taught many aspects of Colour Science. She was awarded the Society of Dyers and Colourist’s Silver medal and is also a Fellow of the SDC. Christine recently retired from the University and is now a Colour Science Consultant.