Cochineal: The Ultimate Red

Thursday 29 August | 6–8pm

£15 | £12 Students | Book now

This lecture by Susan Kay-Williams, Chief Executive at Royal School of Needlework, will tell the story of cochineal, its role in textiles and how and why it was one of the most popular dyestuffs.

Cochineal was unknown in Western Europe until Cortez explored Peru and Mexico in the early 16th century where he saw the evidence of this vibrant red dye stuff being worn by local people. Protected by the Spanish it was shipped to Seville before being sent to dyers across Europe. The Venetians tested it against kermes but with more red dye per gram it soon took over, even though it had so far to come.

Discover the journey of the ultimate red by booking your ticket through the link below.

Dr Susan Kay-Williams is the Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework, a post she has held since 2007, where she has introduced a number of new initiatives including the Degree in hand embroidery, Future Tutors, twice yearly exhibitions and a US Summer School. Susan has lectured all over the world including USA, Canada, China, Japan, Taiwan and Europe and is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society

Dr Kay-Williams academic research focuses on the history of textile dyes. Her first book, The Story of Colour in Textiles was published by Bloomsbury in 2013 and she is currently researching how dyeing changed in the 19th century. In 2015 she was made a Fellow of the Society of Dyers and Colourists in recognition of her research into colour.

Talk: £15 | £12 Students

All tickets include a complimentary drink and exhibition entry

Book now
Numbers are limited for this event, please book early to avoid disappointment. If you have any questions about this event please complete our enquiry form.

The event starts at 6pm with a glass of wine in the Museum foyer and opportunity to view the current exhibition. The talk follows at 6.15pm for 6.20pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately one hour including an opportunity to ask questions. Ticket includes admission to the exhibition and guests are welcome to view this before or after the talk.

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