Introduction to Natural Dyeing



From Pigment to Fiber

Gather, process, extract, dye and rinse! These are the basic steps of the most ancient way of adding color to fiber. Through out time we have used vegetables scraps, barks, flowers and other natural pigments to add beautiful tones to an array of natural fibers. Most often colors would be location based, and thus make inaccessible hues more precious. Did you for instance know that for a long time purple could only be extracted from sea snails? This made it extremely precious and eventually the color associated with European royality.

However our relationship btween land and color thinned out with the introduction of chemical dyes, which is how most contemporary fabric get their color. Our introductory natural dye class is an attempt at reviving the connection between nature and color by sharing our knowledge with you!


The Workshop

The aim of our introductory natural dye class is for each student to gain a thorough understanding of the below points. In order to ensure this we have a maximum of 8 students in our classes and we implement a highly tactile approach to learning.

  • How to choose and prepare fibers for natural dyeing.

  • How to create bright colors on both fabric and paper.

  • How to alter colors using assists.

  • How to create various designs on fabric and paper.

  • How to set up a natural dye station at home.

To explore our leaning objectives we work with a large number of fabric and paper swatches. Additionaly we offer various bigger pieces tailored to the interest of each student. This ranges from silk scarfs, tote bags and large sheets of water color paper. Each student is also be invited to bring personal natural fiber pieces (clothes, papers, fabric pieces etc.).

At the end of the class each students has a detailed swatch booklet documenting all the processes conducted, as well as a final pieces of work.


Swatch Palettes