Natural Dyeing for Beginners: Mordants and Modifiers

(1) 3-hour session. Available dates:
Wednesday, May 22 | 6pm to 9pm
Wednesday, June 19 | 6pm to 9pm

Think of a mordant like a bridge - it's what sits between your natural dye and fiber, binding them together to improve light- and wash-fastness. Modifiers shift colors - they can produce a range of shades and even entirely different colors, from just one plant. Some plants are natural mordants; some mordants are also modifiers; some fibers need mordants and others less so. Add the list of plant- and mineral-based options along with possible plant-mordant-modifier-fiber combinations and the subject gets into the weeds, quick!

This 3-hour beginner's workshop is designed as an easy starting point into the topic. Students will:

  • Learn when and how to use mordants and modifiers, how different fibers need and react to M&Ms, and the different plant- and mineral-based options for both.

  • Experiment with modifiers to produce different colors. We'll work "salad-bar" style: students will choose different pre-dyed fiber samples to test in various solutions of modifiers, experiencing the vast array of possible combinations first hand, and in a short time.

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

Students will leave with a resource list and dyed fiber samples that may be used for reference or creative projects later.

Gardeners: We’re offering free dye plants with every workshop registration through June 22nd! Read more about our Learn As You Grow Gardener’s Discount.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Class Fee: $60; $20 Kids (13 and under).
Materials: Included. Students may bring their own small samples of clean, dyed or undyed fibers to experiment with.

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. Prior experience with natural dyeing is helpful; you may wish to take our Basics workshop first as an introduction.

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.