Three Clicks: Natural Dyes

by Cameron

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When I first started learning about natural dyes, I was a little overwhelmed by the chemistry of it. In the books I was reading there was a lot of talk about alkalinity and PH strips and mordants, which all felt way outside of my comfort zone. But once I started finding people talking about their dyeing practice on the internet, I saw a whole new world where people experimented with different plants and adapted more formal dye techniques to their own limitations.

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Botanical Colors is a great resource. Not only do they sell some hard to find dye materials, but their blog is a wealth of knowledge of dye traditions and contemporary artisans. They're located just up the way in Seattle.

If you're familiar with the amazing quilter, Maura Grace Ambrose and her business Folk Fibers, you've probably been struck by the beautiful and rich palette she's able to achieve almost exclusively using plants. Her blog is full of useful information about growing, using, and harvesting natural dyes, and her quilts are a wellspring of inspiration.

Graham Keegan is a natural dyer based in Los Angeles. He makes beautiful, graphic prints using natural dyes and wax resists. His blog covers growing plant dyes and some of his printing techniques. He doesn't update his blog often, but his instagram account is inspiring.

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Speaking of instagram - it's a great resource for natural dyers. The hashtag #naturaldye is fun to browse, and I've always gotten helpful and quick answers to my questions. If you're interested, but not sure where to start, I recommend doing some browsing there.

We always keep some prepared for dyeing (PFD) fabrics in the store. We'd love to see the results of your experiments!