I just returned from an incredible 3-day workshop at Cloth Fiber Workshop in Asheville, NC.  The workshop was taught by Catharine Ellis.  I have taken 2 other dyeing workshop from her in the last 2 years.  In 2012, I took an indigo dyeing workshop hosted by the Canton Guild, and last year, I took a 1-day workshop (also at Cloth Fiber Workshop) on one pot natural dyeing.

This workshop focused on properly mordanting and dyeing stable colors from natural sources on wool, silk, cotton, and linen.

Day 1:

  • Learning the basics about dyeing
  • Mixing up a fructose (organic) indigo vat
  • Using tannin to treat cellulose fiber (cotton and linen)
  • Making natural inks by mordanting the liquid decoction
  • Indigo resist paste
  • Walnut - direct dye on cotton, wool, and silk

Day 2:


  • Mordanting both protein (wool & silk) and cellulose fibers
  • Indigo dying anything to be overdyed
  • Mordant printing
  • Dunging the mordant printed cloth
  • Maintaining an indigo vat

Day 3:

  • We broke into 6 teams of 2 and created 6 different dye baths for our samples including:
    • Madder
    • Lac
    • Osage Orange
    • Pomegranate
    • Cutch
    • Weld
  • We also overdyed samples from each dye bath in different dye baths
  • Treated some samples with ferrous solution
  • Cut samples and assembled sample books

A lot of pictures from the 3 days can be found in the gallery section here.


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