Friday, April 29, 2016

Growing, Gathering, and Dyeing with Plants - May 22nd

Growing, Gathering, and Dyeing with Plants - May 22nd

Instructor: Adrienne Rodriguez

Discover natural dyeing and its wide world of color. Throughout time, the craft of natural dyeing has been created and upheld by cultures around the world, from South America to India. Now is your chance to become part of the tradition. Explore which types of plants you can grow and gather that can be used in the dyeing process.
This class will prepare you for natural dyeing on protein (animal) fibers.

In this class, you will learn:

- How to create a dye garden, what plants to grow and how many
- How to use whole plants to create a wide variety of color
- How to harvest and store plants for dyeing
- Yarn and fiber preparation which will include helpful tips for a successful end product with emphasis on colorfastness
- Mordanting with alum for protein fibers (these are fibers that come from animals) to achieve colorfast results
- Extraction of color from plants for dyeing
- Techniques for dyeing yarn samples
- Resources for continued learning

You will leave class with a colorful array of naturally dyed yarn samples.
No experience required! Kids welcome (aged 9+ years old)

Materials included: yarn samples, various dyestuffs
Materials Required: rubber gloves
  Class is held on our outside patio.  Please dress for comfort, crafting, and weather conditions, bring sunscreen!
1 session / 3 hours
Cost: $75 with 24 hour advance reservation / $85 walk-in

Date: Sunday, May 22nd
Time: 1 pm - 4 pm


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Drying Dyestuffs - The Harvest and The Storage

When you are foraging or harvesting plants for dyeing you may only collect a few at a time.  Sometimes not even enough to make a dye pot's worth.  For example: I use at least 2:1 amount of plant material to yarn for any dyeing I do.   That means if I have a 4oz skein of wool yarn, I need at least 8 oz of plant material to do my project.  If I can't collect enough in that one day I will keep the plants material for when I do have enough.

The best way to do this is to store the material in a air tight container out of sunlight. However, whether it be flower, mushroom, leaf etc., it usually has some moisture content and needs to dry out completely before storing or it will mold.

Below I have listed my favorite ways to dry my plants and mushrooms.

#1 - Food Dehydrator - I put buying one of these off for a long time because of the cost - but I am glad I finally got one!  They are so predictable and fast. It takes about one day to dry materials which is great for storing your materials fast.

 #2. Hang to dry - This is an easy, low cost, and pretty way to display your plants and dry them for future use. I harvest a few items at a time and tie them with twine and hang them upside down.


 #3. Dry outside on a screen - it provides good air flow to dry the flowers quickly and dries a large amount all at once.

After drying your dye materials I suggest putting them in an airtight container. The cool jars below we found at an antique store.  These materials are now ready for dyeing and look nice hanging out until you do!

Happy Harvesting and Dyeing!