Natural Dyeing for Beginners: The Basics

(1) 3-hour session. Available dates:
Sunday, August 18 | 10am to 1pm
Sunday, September 22 | 10am to 1pm

The world of natural dyeing may seem daunting when you consider the vast array of plants and processes to explore. But experienced dyers know this – it’s a lifelong pursuit that starts with the basics, evolves through experimentation, and is fun to explore with other curious learners. This 3-hour beginner's workshop offers all three:

  • Learn the basics; we’ll cover:
    - Dye plant materials (fresh, dried and extracts) and preparing your dye pots
    - Fiber types, pre-treatments and post-care
    - Mordant and modifer basics
    - Water chemistry, essential tools and best practices

  • Experiment with immersion dyeing using different dye colors, fibers and techniques.

  • Create and relax with in a low-key, convivial environment

We’ll focus on local, traditional dye plants that are easily cultivated in Vermont, or foraged sustainably from our urban or forested wild areas. Students will leave with a resource list, dyed fiber samples, two cotton handkerchiefs, and two silk scarves.

Indigo: We’ll only touch on this special plant, as it requires a different extraction and dyeing method, but students will leave with a basic understanding of what’s involved!

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Class Fee: $60; $20 Kids (13 and under).
Materials: Included.

Ages: All-ages; 13 and under must attend with parent or guardian. Older students 14-18, please contact us for more information.
Experience Level: Beginners to Intermediate. For gardeners, artists and citizen scientists!

Instructor: Karen Cornish

NOTE for wheelchair users: We are located in a 19th-century building with only stairs, and no elevator. We regret that our space is not accessible by wheelchair.