Design a costumePrint your own Indian fabric design by on iron-on Ink-jet transfer paper. Copy some of the patterns on this website, such as the Kalamkari block-printed cotton and print them onto a white cotton t-shirt.
For a wider range of Indian patterns visit the Textiles of India gallery.
Try turning your design indeas into a real costume. If you are feeling adventurous you could make the material as well as the costume. If so, you could either try using natural dyes (see the turmeric dyeing activity) or appliqué designs.
Using plain coloured cloth, print your pattern using bleach instead of fabric dye. Look at printed fabrics. Can you work out what blocks were used and where the patterns repeat? You can do the same with wallpaper.
See if you can design a pattern which becomes a bigger pattern when you print a group. For instance, you could design a quarter of a circle and print four together to make a circle, or a flower petal, to build up a complete flower.
Try making a strip - that's much harder!
block printing activities.
If you want to see how oone of the William Morris designs works, go to the Willaim Morris Gallery where you can make patterns into wallpaper.
You can try this with other designs. Open them in Internet Explorer, right click with your mouse and choose 'set as background'.
Or have a go at a block printing activity.
To try dyeing eggs, go to the Hands-on Turmeric dye page in the Plant Cultures Activities section.
Plant dyes are not used as much today. You can find out some of the reasons from your experiments above (especially the one where you leave the fabric in the sun!). Look for more reasons in the story 'At the Bradford Colour Museum' by Malcolm Brown.
The Plant Cultures website contains many images of cotton from plant, through rural and industrial production processes, to fabrics for sale and finished garments.
Ask the children to use the Plant Cultures scrapbook to collect images showing the story of cotton. They could start by going to 'Themes : Crafts' where they can find out about weaving and dyeing.
Alternatively, they could start from 'Plants : Cotton : Crafts'.
There is also material for a historical study, using engravings of cotton factories. When they have saved several pictures in their scrapbook they could copy some of them into a Word or PowerPoint file to show a chronological process.
The same could be done for Indigo.