In Search of the Perfect Green and Orange: Natural Dyes
Spend a few days with natural dyes, and learn an exciting avenue into color possibilities from ancient traditions. This class will cover some of the long history of natural dyes, the color possibilities they offer, mordanting techniques, extraction process, dyeing methods, and some color theory. With so many dye plants readily available, and most of them giving a variety of yellows, this class will concentrate not only on these yellows, but on the variety of greens and oranges for which they serve as a basis. On the first day students will do some extracting from plant materials that can be grown or gathered. We will then use those extractions to dye and then over-dye in indigo and madder for green and orange. On the second day, we will use extracts that give yellows, and then do the over-dyes. There will be a thorough discussion of what plants the extracts come from and how to use them. The results will be abundant: ten different yellows plus the over-dyes in indigo and madder to achieve greens and oranges. Ooo's and Ahh's will abound! Students will take home many samples, instructions, and knowledge of how to dye from nature on their own. As always, enthusiasm for beautiful color and for the fun process will abound!