Woad could be making a comeback as an environmentally friendly alternative to contemporary textile dyes, according to research carried out by Bristol University's Dr Kerry Gilbert.Ms Gilbert said: "Woad won't be a cheap alternative to other dyes, but it should be on level terms with them and its quality will be as good as indigo sourced from other products. We will be looking at how to reduce the impurities in woad-based dyes over the next three years."If the project proves successful, she said that there is no reason why woad should not become a commercially viable product.London-based designers Rebecca Early, whose clothes sell in Harvey Nichols and Liberty's, and Gary Page, former Red Or Dead designer, are working with Dr Gilbert to create exhibits for the lottery-funded Eden Project. Jeans and denim companies have also expressed interest in the research, although Dr Gilbert could not give further details.The first phase of research, which cost £1.2m and was funded by research institutions and textile and ink companies, came to an end on September 30. However, the EU has now provided funding for a three-year research project.