Plant dyes are an ancient technique of using locally sourced plants to color cloth. Expert dyer Tiger Keogh will show us how to harvest, extract color and dye silk scarves.
We all wear and use fibers everyday & yet most people in our culture know very little about any of them. Natural dyeing is the sustainable use of easily-sourced gifts from the natural world to color fibers. Most often plant materials are used. Different parts of the plants are sustainably harvested for different colors: roots, stems/branches, bark, leaves, flowers & fruits. A few natural dyes come from the animal kingdom, usually insects & sea creatures. Lichens & mushrooms can also give us colors for dyeing.
In general, fibers must be treated first with minerals as part of the natural dyeing process; this allows the chemical reaction that adheres the color pigment to the fiber. This is called mordanting & for this workshop we will use alum in the mordant bath.
Participants can purchase pre-mordanted silks from Tiger for $3 to $15, depending on size, or bring their own animal fibers (the mordant pot will be set up for animal fibers: silk, wool, etc.).
Tea and cookies will be provided by Moonflower Community Co-op and Resiliency Hub.