NATURAL DYEING with LOCAL PLANTS
Get to know the colorful bounty that your local area has to offer by working with fresh plants foraged from and grown in the nearby ecosystem. Natural dyeing can be fun, but the experience of using seasonal & regionally relevant plants as opposed to pre-extracted and imported powders provides a real connection to this age old process. Students will come away with an understanding of natural dyeing with fresh raw dye stuffs, as well as various types of fabrics in a palette of regional colors. All materials are provided, but students are welcome to bring clothing and natural fabrics in need of color.
Students will learn the basics of extracting color from plants using the water-wise bundle dye method. With plants, heat, and pressure, students will create natural, sustainable, and colorful prints on cloth. Students will learn various wrapping and extraction methods, as well as explore the use of different mordants to create color modifications.
WEAVING + ROPE MAKING WITH PLANTS
Come aboard Swale—NYC's floating food forest—to learn the process of making rope by hand. Students will use naturally dyed fabric and plants onboard Swale to create a unique strand of handmade rope. Using their rope, naturally dyed yarn, and plants found on Swale, participants will construct a small tapestry loom and create a weaving to take home.
In this workshop, students will learn to create an organic indigo dye vat and use it to dye natural fabrics. Following the Japanese resist-dyeing method of Shibori, students will discover endless options for creating blue-and-white patterns on cloth. Fabric will be provided, but feel free to bring along some light colored natural fabrics to experiment with!
NATURAL DYEING 101
In 12-hour class, students will learn to extract color from natural dye sources. Students will learn how to prepare fabric to accept dyes, select and use mordants, and modify color through pH adjustment and post-dye treatments. Students will leave with the beginnings of a swatchbook along with sample fabrics from a variety of natural dye processes including immersion dyeing, bundle dyeing, rust dyeing, and the organic indigo vat. All materials are provided, but students are welcome to bring clothing and natural fabrics in need of color.
In this workshop students will learn the basics of Sashiko stitching, a traditional Japanese embroidery technique for both reinforcing and patterning fabric. Using just a simple running stitch, an amazing array of tessellating geometric patterns can be achieved. Please bring along 1-2 pieces of clothing in need of mending and we will revive and beautify our wardrobes by adding a beautiful layer of hand stitching. Clothing should be medium weight woven fabric, such as a blouse or blue jeans.
In this 3-hour workshop, students will learn the chemical processes of dyeing with rust. Students will explore direct contact printing with rusty objects, immersion dyeing with a rust dyebath, and tannin dyeing with black tea. Students will employ simple folding techniques adapted from the Japanese Shibori method to create pattern on cloth. All materials are provided, but students are welcome to bring light colored clothing and natural fabrics.
In this workshop participants will learn to mend, patch, and adorn worn cloth with hand-stitching. Students will be introduced to a variety of visible mending techniques, such as traditional embroidery stitching and methods, Japanese Boro and Sashiko mending techniques, darning and needle weaving, Kantha (running stitch embroidery), and freeform/decorative stitches. Methods for direct visible mending as well as layering with patches will be explored. Students are encouraged to bring garments or samples in need of mending, as well as beloved scraps and adornments to include in the mending process.
Developed in 4th century Egypt, Coptic books have beautiful linked stitches that stretch across the spine. These exposed stitches are durable yet flexible and allow the book to lay completely flat—perfect for a sketchbook or journal. In this introductory course, students will complete the binding of a small, functional Coptic book. Students are invited but not required to bring decorative papers to use for their book's cover.