The dye room
Running time: 1.38mins
Film maker: Joanna Coates
Dyeing fabrics and printing on material of various kinds are two skills at the centre of work in the dye room. The dyers also do a lot of ‘breaking down', making costumes look as if they have been worn over an extended period of time.
The Costume Department at the National Theatre expands far beyond the main workroom where the ladies makers and gents tailors make costumes. There's also a Dye Shop, Wig Department and Costume Propmaker. Crucial to the process of putting on shows are the dressers and maintenance staff in the running wardrobes.
The head buyer spends most of her time outside the office, tracking down items of clothing or accessories.
An overview of the National Theatre's large and varied Costume Department.
A look at the kind of fabrics used in period men's tailoring.
Costumes look exactly like real clothes, even down to details that the audience can't see.
The dye room is often called upon to replicate patterns on fabric by using techniques such as screen-printing.
Watch a seamstress expertly make and attach sleeves to the body of a jacket.
Ashley Holtom talks about her role as Head Buyer for the costume department.
Alterations are made to a skirt after the first fitting.
For a contemporary production design the Head Buyer will shop at high street stores.
This is where fabrics are dyed, printed and distressed.
Rae Smith talks about designing costumes for All's Well That Ends Well.
Soft props range from bedding and curtains to dummies.
A ‘Costume Bible' records information about all the costumes from a particular production.
In order for costumes to look realistic onstage, they often go to the dye room to be ‘broken down'.
Costume props include items such as jewellery, armour or millinery.
Discover how the Costume Department worked with Designer Rae Smith to create the King's costume for The Light Princess.
Find out how the Princess costume was created for 'The Light Princess' in this short film.
Drafting a pattern for a jacket for the production of War Horse.
Costume Designer Mark Thompson talks about his designs for the 18th century costumes in Jamie Lloyd's production of She Stoops to Conquer.
Creatives from the production talk about the process of Making Timon of Athens for the National Theatre.
Mark Thompson talks about designing for 50 Years on Stage.
See Emily Taaffe dressed layer by layer for Nation.
The costume supervisor is the key liaison point between the costume workroom and the costume designer...
Ladies makers, mens tailors and alteration hands make up the team in the costume workroom.
- Commedia dell'arte
- Cottesloe Theatre
- Fight direction
- Five Truths
- Greek Theatre
- Lyttelton Theatre
- NT 50 celebrations
- Olivier Theatre
- Scenic art
- Scenic construction
- Set design
- Stage management
- Special effects
- Stage operations
- The Light Princess filmmaking competition
- The Shed
- Tour the building
- Video projection design
- Walk in the Light