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Imperial Purple To Denim Blue: The Colourful History of Textiles Susan Kay-Williams Wednesday 19 February 2020

This lecture explores the fascinating story of how dyes were discovered, made and used, focusing on some of the social implications of colour at different times in history. The lecture takes us from pre-historic man to the middle of the 19th century and geographically from Europe to the Middle East, India, Turkey, north America, Mexico and Peru. It is a story of exploration, invention, war, the church, money, power and sex.

Susan Kay-Williams is the Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework, based at Hampton Court Palace. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Chartered Institute of Marketing and in 2015 she was made a Fellow of the Society of Dyers and Colourists in recognition of her work on the history of dyes. Susan has a longstanding interest in textiles, especially colour, and published her first book, The Story of Colour in Textiles (Bloomsbury) in 2013. She has extensive lecturing experience and has been invited to lecture in the USA, Canada, China, Japan and Taiwan as well as for the V&A and across the UK.