Dyeing with plant pigments and other natural materials (insects, lichen, etc.) has been practiced and refined for thousands of years—for as long as humans have made cloth and wished to beautify it. Printing with plants has been practiced for generations through such traditions as Easter egg decoration and, in the past few decades, as a way to create pattern and imagery on fabric.
During this workshop students learn about the history of dyeing and printing with plants; how to prepare fabric/fiber for dyeing and printing; ways to secure and alter dye color on cloth; and many ways to get patterns and images on fabric with a variety of plant materials. We begin by gathering as many of our printing and dyeing plants as possible from the area surrounding the workshop (depending on location and time of year). Then we explore dyeing solid and mottled colors with botanical pigments both individually and in combination; printing plant materials onto fabrics; eco-printing and dyeing together; and using some simple shibori techniques in conjunction with eco-printing and dyeing.