CLASS MARCH 14/15: Natural Dyes, Local Plants Workshop in San Juan Capistrano

natural dyes at the ecology center

From The Ecology Center’s site:

Join us for a daylong journey into natural dyeing beginning with gathering from our dye gardens, learning about the history and sustainability of using local plants, and making our own dyes.

In part 1 of our two-day Natural Dyes workshop series, we will explore native plants and their dye properties and learn extraction techniques. 

People have made and used natural dyes using locally available plant, mineral and even insect sources for thousands of years. Today, choosing natural dyes over the chemical alternative is more important than ever. Bringing color to your wardrobe with natural dyes eliminates harmful chemicals and heavy metals found in synthetic dyes and helps keep our watersheds, ocean, and drinking water supply clean.

Join us for a daylong journey into natural dyeing using both the classical historical dyes and some surprising new ones. We will work with raw dyestuffs such as cochineal, madder roots, osage, and weld flowers and learn the secrets to obtaining the best color through chopping, simmering, and carefully extracting colored tinctures.

As an added bonus, we will journey to The Ecology Center dye gardens to gather seasonal dyestuffs from the local landscape to add to our palette. Emphasis will be placed on sustainable dye practices with a focus on low water usage strategies, re-use of dye baths, and recycling used dyestuffs.

The group will work with prepared materials such as yarn and fabric provided by Botanical Colors. Each participant will take away a folio of information on the dyes, extraction techniques, history, and sustainability. Dyes, kits, and other materials will be available for sale.

All levels welcome. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes, and dress to be outdoors for a period of time. This is a physically active class, as we will be carrying dye pots and buckets, lifting, bending, twisting, walking, and working around a heat source.

Learn how to prep, process and practice dyeing in patterns using indigo in part 2 of our Natural Dyes workshop series, Natural Dyes: Organic Indigo Dyeing. 

Sign up for both workshops for a $20 discount! Register Now

Instructors: Kathy Hattori & Kristin Morrison

Instructors’ Bios: Kathy is a leader in the natural dyes movement. Kathy makes color from plants and natural sources using traditional and modern methods and supplies artisans and industry with non-toxic colors. Courses, dyes, supplies, recipes and natural dye related content can be found on her website

Kristin is an artist whose medium, natural dyes, is the primary focus for her work. She uses natural dyes as a medium for dyeing and printing on textiles, installation, her own apparel line KAM Textiles, and most importantly as a conceptual vehicle to demonstrate how we are all connected to the natural world.

She spent a recent year in New York as a resident artist at The Textile Arts Center exploring her work in a studio setting and developing an exhibition called ‘Urban Forage’ for The Invisible Dog Gallery in Brooklyn. She currently works with LA Fibershed, The Ecology Center and her own line KAM Textiles, connecting the nodes and telling her story through projects and collaborative work.