This is a flash back to a few years ago of a natural dyes class I took at Maiwa Handprints in Vancouver, BC. I was fortunate, not only to get into the class (competition can be fierce), but also to be able to study with Charlotte Kwon - owner, filmmaker, designer and much more, of Maiwa Handprints.  Charlotte, along with her team have created a bit of an 'empire' you might say, by way of travelling the globe working with cultures to encourage and preserve their traditions of natural dye work, teaching natural dye workshops all the while maintaining - back at home (in Vancouver, BC) their supply shop of natural dye stuff as well as workshops and a clothing store on Granville Island.  

It was a four-day intensive workshop and covered a lot of ground in terms of fabric preparation (mordanting) and working with all the different natural dyes. Different fabrics require different preparations. For example, cellulose fibres, such as linen, cotton and hemp require different mordants and absorb the dyes differently. Fabrics such as wool and silk - protein fibres, require their own speciality for preparation. 


Silk-rayon velvet sample swatches dyed with natural dyes. 

More silk-rayon velvet samples of natural dyes.

Cotton and linen samples - dyed with natural dyes.

An impressive array of beautiful colours  - all with natural dyes, on silk, linen, cotton, hemp and wool samples; a joint effort with my 'sister' class members.  

As I wandered home to my lodgings on the final day of the workshop, this is what appeared as I turned the corner. How delightful and how appropriate - the Colours of Nature were right in front of me. 

April 16, 2017 by Kathleen O'Grady

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.