Experience the Colors of Tangier

Botanical Colors is thrilled to present an excursion to Tangier, Morocco this August: EXPERIENCING THE COLORS OF TANGIER workshop and retreat with Yto Barrada & Cara Piazza. Each day will be a mix of creative textile exploration and soaking up the sights and highlights of Tangier. We have gathered short profiles of some of the exciting places we are going to visit during our time in this magical city as well as places that invite exploration and personal discovery. Tangier is located on the Strait of Gibraltar and sits at the crossroads of Africa and Europe, where the Mediterranean Sea meets … Read more

Sunday Visit: Kara Gilbert on Vibrant Valley Blue

Every Sunday, Botanical Colors sits down for an interview with a luminary in the natural dye, textile and art world. Grab a cup of tea and settle in to learning about someone you never knew! Catch up on all our Sunday Visits here. This week we sit down with force of nature Kara Gilbert of Vibrant Valley Farm. Vibrant Valley Farm works diligently to care for this earth in everything they do. They farm vegetables, flowers and dye plants and in each step of the process, honor sustainable practices to create healthier communities locally and globally in our outreach, education and daily … Read more

You Ask, Kathy Answered: Do I mordant before or after shibori stitching?

Questions about Shibori & Mordanting You Asked: My question is, would it be a good or less good idea to do the shibori stitching after scouring, but before mordanting the fabric? If the idea is to mordant so that the dye bonds to the fabric, it seems to make sense to stitch before mordanting, thus ensuring the resist that the stitching is meant to achieve? Kathy Answered: If you want to use a mordant dye for shibori, then stitch first and mordant after the stitching is pulled and tightened.  You also want to soak the fabric in lukewarm water for … Read more

Mordant Monday: Tannins and Teal, Osage Edition

We have a new type of Mordant Monday for you today where we dive into the world of Tannins! We want to show you how to use our tannins to mordant, either in combination with aluminum sulfate, to get rich long lasting and substantive color, or to use as a base for color mixing. We will explore our tannins over the next few weeks.  In the photo pictured above we dyed our hemp towel irregulars first in an Indigo Henna Vat. We then used a 15% WOF bath of our osage saw dust to get this beautiful hue. Osage orange … Read more

MORDANT MONDAY: A Plant-Based Option For Mordanting?

We get mordant questions all the time at Botanical Colors so why not create Mordant Monday??? Got mordanting questions? Email [email protected] YOU ASKED: I’m trying to make my natural dye practice completely plant-based, which also includes my mordant. I’ve used sumac and different nuts in the fall, tea and avocado pits, but do you sell a plant-based mordant? I still want to get great color and not all plant-based “mordants” are getting me to where I want to be. KATHY ANSWERED: We do! Symplocos is an exciting alternative that will give you the mordanting power as your base. We are … Read more

Annatto & Hibiscus Dyed Easter Eggs

Everyone from kids to adults love to get their hands messy when they dye Easter eggs with natural dyes. This is a fun tutorial for adults and kiddos (parents help, please) to make a little Easter magic. First things first, let’s talk about health & safety: We always recommend working in a very well ventilated area. Although natural dyes are non-toxic, when using fine powders it’s best to wear a mask, and keep the windows open. Be mindful around little ones and pets as you don’t want anything going in mouths that shouldn’t be there. Also, when beginning to set … Read more

MORDANT MONDAY: Do I Need To Mordant When Using Liquid Tannin?

We get mordant questions all the time at Botanical Colors so why not create Mordant Monday??? Got mordanting questions? Email [email protected] YOU ASKED: I am using your liquid tannin on cotton. Beyond scouring, I was wondering if it is sufficient to use liquid tannin (on cotton t-shirts) as a mordant before using the other liquid dyes? Or, do I need to mordant cottons at all when using these liquids? Do I need to alum them as well? I have aluminum triformate currently so was thinking to use this.  KATHY ANSWERED: I hope I’m answering your question here. If you want to use Liquid … Read more

Sunday Visit: Maibe Maroccolo on Native Brazilian Flora and Fostering Creativity

This week’s Sunday Visit we catch up with the inimitable Maibe Maroccolo she is the founder and creative director of Mattricaria based in Brazil. She has a master in sustainable development from the University of Arts London. After a period of studies and specialization in the United Kingdom, Maibe delved into her Brazilian roots and dedicated herself to researching and mapping dye plants, with a focus on textile and artistic applications. Since 2013, her research has revolved around the potential of natural dyes from Brazilian flora and Matricaria was born. The studio also records traditional methods aimed at artisanal practices. You have … Read more

MORDANT MONDAY: Do I Need To Re-Mordant To Eco Print?

We get mordant questions all the time at Botanical Colors so why not create Mordant Monday??? Got mordanting questions? Email [email protected] YOU ASKED: I have scoured the internet trying to find an answer to this question, with no luck other than to ask you 🙂 I am dyeing my fabric (scoured and mordanted with tara tannin, aluminum acetate, chalk bath) and want to eco print flowers onto the fabric afterwards. Do I re-mordant or is the previous mordant still viable after the fabric has been dyed as the water reaches 180 degrees. I use your plant extracts to dye and … Read more

You Asked, Kathy Answered: What IS Calcium Carbonate?

YOU ASKED: May I ask what you mean by calcium carbonate? I read in your description of “calcium carbonate” you compare it to chalk. This confuses me because chalk is caso4•(H2O) while calcium carbonate is caco3. KATHY ANSWERED:  What we call “chalk” in the US is Calcium Carbonate – CaC03, a powdery white material.  The formula that you reference is Calcium Sulfate and it may also be called “chalk” but in the US, we commonly refer to it as “gypsum”. Calcium carbonate is used to mark soccer fields, as a dietary calcium supplement, an ingredient in antacids, and building materials! … Read more