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Kayleigh Davis - Natural Dye Textile Artist

Kayleigh Davis foraging for natural dyes

I am an established textile artist, workshop facilitator and PhD researcher, whose practice focuses on naturally dyed silk pieces created under the name ‘ocre’. My work seeks to explore the impermanence and fragility of the natural world throughout the seasons, by embedding foraged and grown pigments and prints into cloth, guided by emotion, memory and the physicality of the local landscape. My work is heavily influenced by mindfulness practices, as my interest in natural dyes began in response to spending time in nature to recover from my own mental health difficulties. As a result of this I am an advocate for the correlation between connection with nature, hands on textile practice and wellbeing. 

I have a keen interest in slow, environmentally responsible practice. I work in a circular way, ensuring that I am involved in each step of the natural dye process in the most tactile manner; from foraging to growing, nurturing and harvesting dye plants, embedding their pigments into textiles without harmful chemicals, and telling the story of Yorkshire botany through cloth. I believe textile pieces should age and change with time, so I celebrate fading, but also encourage the mending and re-dyeing of my works to extend each piece’s lifetime.

In 2021 I was awarded an academic scholarship to undertake doctoral research of WOVEN in Kirklees Festival as a place-based initiative which celebrates Kirklees’ textile heritage, craft and innovation; with focus on themes including ‘co-creative community practice’, ‘craft as a tool for wellbeing’, and ‘sustainable textile practice’ through embedded natural dye movement ‘Growing Colour Together’. Through my research I am exploring the ways in which shared natural dye practice, gardening and foraging can enhance community wellbeing and connection to place and the local environment.


2021 - Present

Doctor of Philosophy - The University of Huddersfield

Vice Chancellor’s Academic Scholarship

Concentrations: Natural dyes for textiles, co-creative community practice, place-based making, wabi-sabi and wellbeing links to textile practice

Research Topic: Investigating WOVEN in Kirklees Festival through embedded research enquiry


Master of Arts  (Distinction) - The University of Huddersfield

Concentrations: Fluid, organic print creation & Sustainable Textiles

Research Topic: A study of holistic fluidity in print with focus on botanical themes and print techniques within artistic and environmental contexts 


Bachelor of Arts (2:1) - The University of Huddersfield

Concentrations: Botanical print design for fashion

Research Topic:  An exploration into print design within Fashion, investigating the possibility of translating traditional floral prints into a more contemporary genre.



Heart Gallery - Hebden Bridge

Winter show

Naturally dyed silk pieces - ocre


Hope Art Gallery - Hebden Bridge

Naturally dyed works


Cultures of Place - Huddersfield

(Temporary Contemporary)

The University Colour Garden Project in collaboration with Elnaz Yazdani and WOVEN in Kirklees

Talks & Panels


Journey through academia & Plant Hammering Demo

University of Huddersfield Green Week


‘Be a Climate Changer’ Sustainability in business event

University of Huddersfield Enterprise Hub


Natural Dyeing talk

Kirklees Children’s Art Network


Networking to generate leads for business

ocre - University of Huddersfield Enterprise Hub


WOVEN Careers Network

Virtual Work Experience talk and Q&A


WOVEN in Practice Conference

Panel chair for ‘Sustaining a Creative Practice in COVID19’


‘Inspire me to.. start something’ event

University of Huddersfield Enterprise Hub



Painting with natural dyes

WOVEN in Kirklees community briefings


Naturally dyed tote bags at Leftbank Leeds

Ketchup sustainable fashion takeover


Plant Hammering at Mirfield Show

with WOVEN in Kirklees


Planted Pigments - Cultures of Place

Introduction to Natural Dye Techniques


Natural Fashion Challenge

Natural dye T-shirt Project with Primary Schools across Kirklees

(Gomersal, Meltham & East Bierley)


Introduction to Naturally Dyed fibres

First year weave students - Uinversity of Huddersfield


Plant Hammering Workshops

WOVEN in Kirklees, Growing Colour Together showcase at Tolson Museum

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