• Gone Woading

    This past May, Botanical Colors was honored to host woad master Denise Lambert of Bleu de Lectoure for a weekend of woad dipping using the ancient blue dye of Europe that she and her husband revitalized in France.  She brought her charming assistant, Sophie Boss and they worked their woad magic in Seattle. We started […]

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  • I’m the guest blogger for Cotton Clouds this month

    I’m the guest blogger for the month at Cotton Clouds. Check out their new EZ Dye kits using a non-toxic pretreated cotton that takes natural dyes beautifully with no mordanting! The colors are so interesting – a slightly different palette than other natural dyes on cotton – these tones will go beautifully with most interior […]

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  • The Fine Art of Making Scissors

    A good pair of scissors is a must for any craftsperson and a fine pair of handmade scissors is a very special pleasure.  No wonder we keep them safely tucked away and bring them out only for those times when we are mending or stitching. When I visited Paris in the early 1990’s, I was […]

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  • 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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  • Tips For Pokeberry Dyeing on Wool

    We’re pretty obsessed with pokeberry dyeing right now for dyeing wool, making ink and just squishing them up and dropping them on paper. They are SO intense and exciting to use. I visited Japanese textile artist and katazome instructor John Marshall in his studio in Covelo, Mendocino County a while back and was surprised to […]

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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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