At this witchiest time of year, there is no better activity than gathering around a cauldron and brewing up a pot of natural color! As nature starts to make its descent into darkness, and the leaves and plants fall away, in many spiritual traditions it is called “the thinning of the veil” when the veil between the material and spirit realm is thin. This can be a hard time of year for some, as we see things die away and winter’s chill begins to make itself known. But it can also be a sacred time when you may use the transformations you see in nature, and the spirit world being so close, as a time of beautiful metamorphosis. In this vein, we will turn plants into beautiful pots of color that can then turn a textile into a sacred object. You can wear and use this textile through the winter to remind you that nature will bloom and grow again next spring.
In this class you will learn to dye textiles using natural sources: medicinal flowers and plants, food waste and roots, berries and leaves! The plant world is a magnificent resource for natural dyes, and this includes the plants we see in our backyards and foods regularly consume right in our own kitchen!
We will make deep reds from Mexican cochineal, yellows from onion skins and turmeric, peachy pinks from avocado pits, purples from red cabbage, poke berries and flowers, and blues from black beans. From all of these colors you can make a whole rainbow! This is a wonderful class if you have been interested in natural dyeing and wanted to learn a bit more. Beginners welcome. We will go over how to prepare a textile for dyeing, the whole dye process, and after care. You will receive a document with instructions after the class for experimenting on your own.
We will provide you with a few strips of prepared textiles to experiment with and your own tote bag! You are welcome to bring old linens or garments to experiment with as well (they must be white and a natural material—not polyester). This will be a fun evening of learning, experimenting, and playing with natural color!
Susanna Taylor has worked in the world of NYC fashion, and studied natural dyes deep in the Amazon jungle, in Oaxaca, MX and right in New York City. She firmly believes that you don't need to sacrifice beauty to do right by the earth and she has made it her mission to showcase this through her company Earthen Warrior. Susanna lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and their many, many plants.