• Earth Day is April 22

    1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire. Although it wasn’t the first time the river burned, it became the symbol of the desperate condition of American waterways choked by pollution and spurred the passage of the Clean Water Act. A year later, 20 million Americans rallied on April 22 – the first Earth Day […]

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  • Using Less Water & Energy to Get Color

    I’ve been thinking about how to get more natural color while using less water and energy. Here are some simple tips: 1.  Try some of the innovative dye techniques as practiced by India Flint and Kimberly Baxter Packwood. Both these artists create using low-water and low resource methods that yield surprising and very beautiful results. […]

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  • 2012: The Year of More Color

    How is it that we can look at a washing machine that is Harvest Gold and instantly date it to the 70’s?  Or say “Santa Fe colors” and know that we’re speaking of a greenish teal, terra cotta, sage green and mauve?  The answer is color forecasting.  Each year a number of color experts meet […]

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  • Pokeberry Dyeing

    I visited Japanese textile artist and katazome instructor John Marshall in his studio in Covelo, Mendocino County two weeks ago and was surprised to see that his entire front yard was covered in pokeberry bushes.  Now those of you who have been dyeing with pokeberries for years need to stop snickering and let me have […]

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  • New Aquarelle Recipes

    There’s an incredible range of colors we get from the Aquarelle liquid natural dyes. Brilliant madder red, rust, olive green, a lovely soft pink, periwinkle and a whole host of blue shades that are soft and inviting. Try out some of these: Persian Tile: 15-20% Aluminum Sulfate, 8% Liquid Indigo/Saxon Blue Cornflower Blue: 15-20% Aluminum Sulfate, 5% […]

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  • The cochineal drought is over

    A Perfect Red is a marvelous story about the history of the “discovery” of cochineal by Europe in the 16th century. The tiny  scale insect is one of the most compelling red colors in the natural dye palette and its introduction took Europe by a storm, garnering huge fortunes for Spain and England (who pirated […]

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  • French ochres

    In May 2010 I went to France for two weeks as part of a tour group Our itinerary included a workshop to study natural dyes with Michel Garcia, visit the French ochre fields, learn the magic of woad from Denise Lambert of Bleu de Lectoure and eat exceedingly well.  This was the land of foie […]

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  • Liquid Indigo and Saxon Blue

    Many long time indigo dyers have been curious about the liquid indigo that I sell that works like an immersion dye.  How can it possibly work that way?  Traditional vatted indigo is not water soluble and it’s created through a complex set of steps and careful dipping, not in an immersion dye pot.  Our liquid […]

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  • Deena Schnitman: Paste Paper and Natural Dyes

    Boston artist Deena Schnitman creates works on paper using the age old technique of paste paper. She writes: “Paste paper dates back to the late sixteenth century when it was widely used by bookbinders in Europe for endpapers and bookcovers. The process has changed little and remains simple. A paste is cooked, colored with paint […]

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  • A Breakthrough in Natural Dyes

    Botanical Colors is offering a new line of liquid natural dyes that are perfectly suited for immersion dyeing, printing and painting.  The colors are saturated and beautiful and the color line includes an indigo that does not require the traditional vat process.  This means you can add this indigo (Saxon Blue) right into your dyepot along […]

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