Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Colors from plants, flowers, leaves, herbs, bark and roots

Last year I attended a workshop 'Colors from Nature' at Ecology Center in Berkeley taught by Deepa Preeti Natarajan. It was a short workshop in which Deepa taught us the basics of making dyes. I was so thrilled to learn something new but not completely unknown. 

Image courtsey: permacouturepress

I have been buying garments made by Fabindia. They use plant dyes and support the artisans with whom they directly work. There are I always dreamt of going to India one day to see and learn how it's all made. Anokhi and Soma are two other fair trade organizations/shops that support traditional art and practices of making beautiful clothes.

An artisan engaged in block printing.

So when I found out about Deepa's workshop I signed up for it. I came home and tucked my notes away but kept thinking about the whole process. Then one day I was in Ashland, Oregon, and I came across Rebecca Burgess's book 'Harvesting Color' in The Websters. I flipped through the book and was fascinated. I went home and ordered the book along with Sasha Duerr's 'The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes'. My experiments began with mint leaves and still continue. It is a very good addiction. 

Turmeric dyed tank