Interested in Natural Dyes? I offer a range of workshops from beginner to advanced, and on every color of the rainbow. Check the Upcoming Workshops section for my latest dates, or contact me to schedule a workshop in your area.
Natural Dye Rainbow
Nature offers us all the colors of the rainbow, we just need to figure out how to get them onto our fibers! This workshop is perfect for the absolute beginner to the avid dyer. We will work with 8-10 different dyestuffs in several forms: wood shavings, fresh plant material, dried plant material, insects, roots, extracts….and create a rainbow of colors.
We will go over fiber selection and prep, proper mordanting, and how to maximize our efforts for deep rich colors. We look at a well equipped dye studio, what we need and how to follow proper safety precautions. This class is a great general purpose natural dye class that is different every time. Sometimes we are foraging in the woods and fields for dyestuff, sometimes the host has a dye garden, you never know what might be available.
All participants end up with 12-15 mini skeins, enough for a small to medium project.
Make it Madder
This in depth dye workshop shows how putting a little chemistry to work in your dyepot can dramatically change your results. We use one single dye, Madder Root, and by adjusting our mordants and modifiers, end up with 20 colors. This is usually an all day workshop, with much of the prep taking pace before hand. It could be a 2 day workshop, with the prep work being part of the experience.
Participants end up with a color card detailing the different shades, and 20 individual skeins of yarn, enough for a large project.
Make it Cochineal
This class is essentially the same as Make it Madder, but using the dye Cochineal. Cochineal is a small scale insect indigenous to South and Central America that has been prized for centuries for it's deep scarlet dye. By using only cochineal, but adjusting our mordants and modifiers, we will create 20 distinct colors. Typically a full day workshop, this can be a 2 day affair to include all the prep that goes into the yarn and dye making.
Participants leave with a detailed color card and 20 mini skeins of yarn, enough for a large project.
Indigo and Shibori
Indigo is a plant derived blue dye that has been used for centuries by many cultures around the world. Indigo belongs to a class of dyes known as Vat dyes, which means that the indigo itself is not water soluble, and must be treated chemically to get the desired blue color. There are several ways to do this, but all of them include an alkali to break down the dye, and a reducing agent to remove the oxygen from the indigo vat. I most commonly teach what's known as a Lye vat, as lye is used as the alkali to break down the indigo. It's fast and reliable and gives excellent results. Please contact me if you are interested in learning about other methods of indigo dyeing!
Shibori is the Japanese art of resist dyeing, using stitches, clamps and tying to create patterns on fabric. My day long workshop includes a morning of fabric prep in a variety of styles, and then an indigo lesson and dye session in the afternoon. It's a great way to spend the day!