In celebration of the Summer Solstice, this weekend will bring together those curious about ways of connecting with the Earth and her cycles at the
Before the mid-nineteenth century, plants and other natural sources were used across all cultures to color fiber. After the discovery of synthetic dyes, natural dyes were quickly replaced and an important part of civilization was forgotten. Besides being powerful color sources, natural dyes reveal many secrets. They'll tell you the conditions of the soil where they grew, the composition of the fabric you are using and even the quality of the water being used to dye with it. In this weekend, our goal will be to establish our own conclusions about how natural dyes can exist in the contemporary world and how we can use these ideas to explore our relationship with food, nature and modernity.
21 June 2019, 3:00pm - 23 June 2019, 3pm
1496 County Road 12
East Meredith, NY 13757
Participants will learn how to dye fiber with easily found botanical sources like avocado seeds, onion skins and seaweed and we will experiment shifting color with lime juice, baking soda and water samples from around the world. We will engage in conversations regarding how water, soil and fiber affect the colors when working with natural dyes and talk about the sometimes-erroneous associations we have about synthetic and natural matter. The final goal will be establishing our own conclusions about how natural dyes can exist in the contemporary world and how we can use these ideas to explore our relationship with food, nature and modernity. Active discussion will be encouraged. Fabrics will be provided for the experiments and participants are welcome to bring fabric or garments they might want to dye. Before the program, participants will receive an email with a series of recommended readings and they will also receive a zine with information about natural dyes during the workshop.
We will introduce each other and talk about our goals for the weekend
We will talk about the history and basics of natural dyes, plants that have color properties and best methods
We will start the color extraction process for the avocado seeds, onion skins and local seaweed
We will soak our fibers in water to start dyeing them the following day
We will experiment by adding baking soda or lime juice to some of the vats as to alter color
We will insert our fabrics to the vats and will leave them there until the next day to obtain deep colors
We will discuss considerations to keep in mind when foraging as to not affect local ecosystems in a negative way
We will take our fibers out of the vats in the morning and leave them out to dry
We continue discussing about natural dyes and participants will be encouraged to share their thoughts and conclusions.