Preparing for teaching a natural dyeing or eco-printing class requires advance planning, as with so many other arts and crafts. In the case of natural dyeing or printing with plants, any fabric you intend to use must be properly mordanted. And before the mordanting takes place, the fabric must be scoured.
Of course, you must have ready your tables, equipment, natural dyes and plants. Are there any dyes you are using which must be prepared a day or two in advance? Shredded bark dyes come to mind. They often need several days to cure in a prepared liquid, as did the black walnuts I dyed with recently.
If you are fortunate enough to live near a local natural dyer, why not sign up for a class this summer? If you are unable to travel, there may be good books available at your local library. I try to preview arts and crafts books prior to purchasing them, since there are sometimes disappointments–not enough photos, not enough practical instruction. I remember purchasing a promising book about surface design but realized too late that it was large on photos but short on techniques. This may sound obvious, but if you are gathering plants for dyeing, it probably won’t be helpful to purchase a book on Australian eco-dyeing techniques if you live in Vermont. You simply will not have access to the same vegetation.
You may also be interested in a brand new “Introduction to Natural Dyeing” PDF available from me on my Etsy shop. Just click and begin your adventure in natural dyeing!
Be sure to post comments about any natural dyeing you have done recently!
And stay tuned for results from my upcoming eco-printing class!