Tina Whiteley

Born and educated in UK, Tina moved permanently to Australia with her husband in January 2000 and is now based in Red Hill, Victoria.

She has enjoyed working with textiles for many years, initially sewing with commercially-dyed fibres and fabrics and then progressed to colouring her own, using various media, such as paints, inks and Procion dyes.  However, her passion was truly ignited when she began to experiment with natural dyes from locally gathered plants, using petals, leaves, bark, berries and seeds.  Tina finds the natural dyeing process particularly exciting, as the range of subtle colour ways is dependent on so many factors, such as seasonal changes in the individual plants.  She now combines her own signature dyed fabrics with her stitching to create truly unique and individual pieces.

Mainly self-taught, Tina has studied Textile Art at Box Hill TAFE, participated in numerous  courses and workshops in a variety of textile disciplines and is now Cert IV qualified in Training & Assessment.     She currently offers workshops in fabric dyeing and machine embroidery.  

Tina’s work includes hand-dyed and machine embroidered textiles, from framed artworks and home-wares to wearable art and fashion accessories.   Her work has been exhibited at Textile Artistry, Dromana, the Peninsula Arts Society Spring Art Show, Frankston Waterfront Festival Arts and Crafts Show and is a regular exhibitor at Walker Street Gallery’s annual 9 x 5 Exhibition.   She has undertaken wearable art commissions for clients in Australia, UK and Canada and her botanical dyed and printed silk scarves are currently available through designer fashion house, Zeega in Flinders.  

A short explanation of Tina’s natural dyeing process.

  • Tina chooses her fabrics & fibres, preparing them accordingly depending on whether they are protein or cellulose based.
  • From her own garden or those of friends and neighbours, she spends time selecting and collecting known plant material to give the required colour ways and patterns. She also experiments with fallen leaves or other discarded plant material in and around her local area.
  • With the required amount of bulk raw plant material she sets up her dye baths according to two or 3 base colour ways.
  • She then selects various items of collected plant material for use as design elements and lays out her designs on the fabrics.
  • Fabrics are then rolled and bundled carefully before placing in the dye pots and left to cure.
  • She allows the fabrics to soak for various amounts of time, to achieve desired pattern and colour depth.
  • Her fabrics are then carefully washed and pressed and her scarves will be roll-hemmed by hand before being labelled and ready to wear.

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