Dyeing with Woad
For thousands of years in Europe, the only way to create blue textiles was to use the now little-known dye plant woad. From the wraps found in ancient Egyptian tombs to the clothing buried in the Oseberg Viking Ship in 834 AD to the 16th century mansions of merchants who became rich through trading woad, this humble plant carries stories of the human love of color across time and civilizations. Eventually replaced by indigo and even more recently synthetic dyes, dyeing with woad has become somewhat obscure. The original methods for dyeing with woad were quite complicated (fermented urine anyone?) but now easier methods have been developed. Join Featured International Guest instructor Anne Marie Nielsen for a three day exploration of this ancient process. Students will learn to dye textiles with woad in an organic dye-vat using woad pigment, fructose and lime. Students will make several samples of a variety of textiles and learn how to substitute overripe fruits for fructose. Anne Marie has used woad in several projects and will share her extensive knowledge of the cultural history of this fascinating plant throughout the course.
You will need the following tools for this class:
- a glass jar of 1-1.5 liters in size
- rubber gloves
- small pieces of natraul fiber fabric and yarn for samples (mostly wool, linen and silk)
Once registered, students will receive a confirmation email with further class information. Please call us if you haven't received it within 24 hours.