Eco-Printing and Natural Dyeing, June 14 - 16

What Will I Learn?

We'll focus on two primary means of using dyestuffs to create colour:  eco prints to create bursts of colour and dye pots to colour large swaths of cloth.  Simultaneously we will combine these two in an exploration of the interaction between rust and tannin.  

Eco Prints - Want to capture the glorious bounty of summer?  We will explore different ways to draw the dyestuff out of leaves and other natural materials to print directly on silk, cotton, and paper using a variety of mordants. The results are surprising and magical, and the possibilities endless. We will also explore different treatments of the resulting prints. If you love the work of India Flint, and want to know some of the secrets, you’ll love this part of the retreat.  

Dye Pots - Learn how to start and care for an indigo vat.   Using recycled cotton, we will explore 5 shibori resist techniques, mordants, and the secrets to dyeing with natural materials.  Bring home a set of samples to remind you of the techniques and to use in your own practice.   

Rust and Tannin- Learn how to use rust and tannin to create a permanent and stunning marks on fabric, simultaneously exploring how eco prints and dye pots can be combined to add complexity to the work produced.  

What Sort of Tools and Materials Will We Be Using?

Working in our outdoor dye kitchen, all of the tools will be at your fingertips.  The only thing we ask you to bring is clothing that can get stained - it’s a hands on retreat - and the last thing we want is to ruin your favourite pair of pants.

Fibres: You will be given a bundle at the beginning of the retreat that includes:

  • A silk scarf with finished bound edges for a finished project

  • A scarf length of unfinished silk 

  • Several lengths of washi paper

  • Pieces of cotton sheeting of various sizes, weights, and finishes

  • Linen and silk samples 

You may bring additional natural fibres to dye, and there will be a selection of materials available for purchase.  But we generally find that there’s more than enough in your bundle to keep you quite busy!

Mordants: We will explore the effects of iron, alum, copper, and gallnut.

Dyes: We will focus on indigo and tannin, and will make an additional dye bath or two - what those are will depend on the interests of the participants. 

Is this Retreat for Me?

This retreat is of particular interest to 

  • Textile artists

  • Spinners and weavers

  • Quilters

  • Fashion designers

  • Printmakers.  

Cost: $290 for all workshops, materials, tools, instruction, and meals

Accommodations are in addition, and are priced individually.  

Email to register