Introduction to Natural Dyeing: Create a Local Palette
With Ann Weaver
May 15, 2:00-4:00 CDT;
May 16, 2:00-4:00 CDT;
May 22, 2:00-4:00 CDT
You’ll learn all the basics of natural dyeing on both plant and animal fibers. Then, you’ll have a chance to explore and experiment with dyestuffs from your neighborhood or kitchen!
Class sessions will be recorded and remain accessible online to registered students of this class for 7 days following the event.
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Learn everything you need to know to start dyeing fibers using natural dyes—using both dyestuffs you can purchase and those you find around you! You’ll leave this relaxed, experimental workshop with yarn and cotton items you’ve dyed yourself and the tools and knowledge to continue exploring natural dyeing.
We’ll get right to dyeing in Session 1—you’ll make a dyebath from concentrated, natural dye extract and dye pre-mordanted yarn and fiber from your kits. By the end of this session, you’ll have your first naturally dyed items— congratulations!
You’ll mordant fiber for more dyeing. Mordanting is the process of preparing fiber to receive dye and is a critical step in the dye process. It’s easy, too.
You’ll create another dyebath to dye the mordanted fibers from Session 2. While we work, we’ll discuss how to gather, prepare, and work with a variety of materials— bark, berries, weeds, and seeds from your neighborhood and kitchen.
In the week between Sessions 2 and 3 you’ll have time to mordant more fiber, gather materials, and do more dyeing if you like. In the final session, we’ll make and use experimental dye baths!
By the end of the workshop, you’ll have done at least two rounds of natural dyeing from start to finish—mordanting fibers, gathering dyestuffs, making the dyebath, dyeing, and rinsing.
A kit is required for this class; a $79 kit fee will be added to your order which includes overnight shipping. The kit will include:
Three 4 oz skeins of undyed superwash Merino wool, either fingering or DK weight
Three undyed cotton bandanas
One vintage textile
Madder root extract powder
Logwood extract powder
Aluminum acetate (mordant for plant fibers) Aluminum sulfate (mordant for animal fibers) Iron powder
Osage orange sawdust
__1 or 2 large stockpots, large spoon, measuring cup marked in ounce increments and cooking thermometer that you DO NOT USE for cooking
__Small kitchen scale
__Kitchen gloves or disposable rubber gloves (just to keep dye from staining your hands)
__Dust mask (the type you wear as COVID protection is perfect)
__Metal or plastic strainer with fine mesh
– You’ll need a heat source for dyeing. A kitchen stove is fine—none of the materials we’ll use are dangerous. Just make sure the stove area is clear of any materials you use for cooking.
– Cover nearby counter space with plastic or towels to protect it from dye spatters.
– You’ll also need a bucket of room-temperature water for rinsing. Anne uses a 5-gallon cat litter tub.