Natural Dyes

HCR74, Box 21912, El Prado
New Mexico 87529

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on natural dyes
of natural dyed textiles
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natural dye & textile


We are an international nonprofit organized to research natural dyes and pigments, share information and educate the public about the history of this rich tradition and the use of these natural materials.

Links to Natural Dye Sources and Information

If you wish to add your organization to this list, email

Riitta Liski +358 50 409 7551
Kris-Tiina Valolahti +358 50 409 7552
Päivi Hutri +358 40 727 5501

The Colour Palette Office
Väripaletti toimisto
Kauppakatu 26, 47400


We are looking for EU projects in action, funded by operating groups, as well as private operators, for co-operative partners in a Finnish, EU-funded International Dye Project.

Until now: The Colour Palette Project, 1 January 2004 &endash; 31 December 2005

A two-year Colour Palette Project has been in operation in Finland since 1 January 2004, the aim of which is to establish a Colour Centre in Iitti and to create a link between those who collect materials needed for natural dyes, and the handicraftsmen working as dyers, trainers, product designers and producers. The Colour Centre will also be the first of its kind in the international level. (See Appendix 1, the Colour Palette Project)

At the moment: The preliminary assessment project of the International Dye Project
1 October 2004 &endash; 31 March 2005

The preliminary assessment project of the International Dye Project was launched on 1 October 2004, the objective of which is to create an International Dye Project for the period of 1 April 2005 &endash; 28 February 2006.

During the preliminary assessment project (prior to 30 March 2005), the co-operation contracts and project and funding plans will be drawn up between the operating group of the co-operative country and the operating party. Private persons, companies and educational institutions from other countries and operating groups are also welcome to join the activities, assuming that they provide for their own expenses.

In the future:

The purpose and aims of the International Dye Project
1 April 2005 &endash; 28 February 2006

The objective is to create an international co-operation network consisting of the producers of dye materials, dyers, product designers, and the parties responsible for the implementation and marketing of the project. In order to be able to do this, we need professionals from all these fields to develop the idea into a viable and well-functioning entity. Another objective is to create a joint, international sales organisation.

We are hoping to inspire the following parties to participate in the co-operation link:

- the collectors of natural dye plants
- the cultivators of dye plants
- the producers of the materials to be dyed
- dyers
- designers
- handicraftsmen and artists making the products
- marketing personnel

Please contact us as soon as possible;
let's promote the colourful matter together!

The Colour Palette


The Colour Palette (Väripaletti) is a pioneer project, with the help of which a Colour Centre will be established in Finland. The Colour Centre will comprise all information related to colour and activities from museum collections and courses to materials sold in the product shop. One of the most essential focuses is the use of natural dyes in textiles. During the project, thorough information will be collected on the needs of the professionals and persons interested in the matter, and a co-operation circle will be developed, which will render service in different ways to as many users as possible.

The operational period of the Colour Palette Project lasts from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005.

The objective of the Colour Palette Project
is to establish a Colour Centre, the premises of which will constitute:

  • Colour Museum A specialised museum concentrating on the history of colour.
  • Showroom In addition to the permanent exhibition, there will be seasonal theme exhibitions at international level.
  • Colour Library An extensive collection of relevant literature.
  • Colour Café A fuelling station, filled with colours and rich in experiences.
  • Product Shop Provides dyes and finished products, also online.
  • Dye house Rentable working premises intended for professionals, and which can also be used for training purposes. The premises of the dye house will provide for the needs of both those who use natural materials and those who use industrial colouring agents in the dyeing.

Being an intriguing sight, the centre will also promote tourism in the area.

The functions of the Colour Palette Project

During the project, the location and spatial solutions of the Colour Centre will be determined.

The functions, which will focus on the different fields of the Colour Centre, will be planned together with the co-operative partners.

During the project, the following working groups will operate:

  • Museum Working Group
  • Course Service Working Group
  • Library Working Group
  • Exhibition Working Group
  • Planning and Realisation Group of the Product Shop

All private and collective collaborators interested in the colour matter are welcome to join the activities of the working groups.

The project organises:

  • Educational visits
  • Course activities
  • Seminars and lectures
  • Colour Festival in 2005

The party responsible for the implementation of the project is
Iitin käsityöläiset ry
(the Registered Association of Handicraftsmen in Iitti)

The contact persons of the project: Fashion Designer
Riitta Liski Art Historian/Dyer
Kris-Tiina Valolahti, MA

If you are interested in the
co-operation with us, we hope that a great deal of opinion exchange and co-operation would take place already in the early stages of the project in order to be able to form the Colour Centre as extensive and well-functioning an entity as possible.


Preliminary assessment project from 1 October 2004 to 31 March 2005

A Colour Centre is being planned to be established in Iitti, the services of which will include a Colour Museum, Colour Library, Colour Café and a product shop. In addition, the Colour Centre will comprise a dye house, which will provide services for professionals, persons interested in the matter, and groups that need premises for courses. The EU-funded Väripaletti - Colour Palette Project (in operation from 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2005) was launched in order to establish the Colour Centre, and during this preliminary assessment project now in progress, a co-operation basis will be created for the International Dye Project, which will begin in the spring.

The objective is to bring together people who are interested in the history and different use of colours, and the parties operating with dyeing and dyes extracted from natural materials. In addition, the operating possibilities of an international co-operation network will be explored, for example, with the help of a joint sales organisation.


Colour Museum

The museum, situated in Iitti, will mainly offer information on the history of colours and dyeing methods used in textiles. In addition to a permanent exhibition, there will be seasonal exhibitions on different themes, from different historical eras, and by different artists in the premises of the museum. The international exhibitions of the Colour Museum will display the specialities of different countries in the use of colours. They will also introduce the work of private artists and artist-craftsmen.

Product shop

The selection of the shop will include natural dyes as well as finished products. The product shop will function as a centre where contact information of Finnish and foreign material providers will be collected. A part of the product range will be available for online sale.

Dye house

The dye house will incorporate dyeing equipment especially designed for the needs of those who use natural materials in the dyeing. The services of the premises will be available for private persons, schools, persons interested in the matter and professionals. The intention is to create production rings for the collectors of natural dyes, the cultivators of dye plants, the producers of materials and the dyers in different countries.

The possibilities of international co-operation will be enhanced by work residence, which means that artists and handicraftsmen from the co-operative countries can come and work in the premises of the Colour Centre. It is also intended that international training will be organised in the Colour Centre.

Colour Festival 2005

A Colour Festival will be organised 12 - 14 August 2005 in Iitti, in connection with which an international colour meeting will also take place. The program of the festival will include a colour seminar, exhibitions, the sales and introduction of products, work demonstrations, competitions, music etc. &endash; all related to the colour theme. The more detailed program will take shape during the spring.


The project operations

The purpose of the international preliminary assessment project (1.10.2004 &endash; 31.3.2005) is to find the co-operative partners, to make the project plans and to draw up the co-operation contracts with the operators and operating groups of the EU-countries, interested in the matter.

After the preliminary project, an international project will be launched (for the period of 1 April 2005 &endash; 28 February 2006), which will emphasise the charting and continued handling of the natural dyes, and the international development of the dyeing methods. In addition, the intention is to increase the awareness of the various possibilities of usage of the natural materials and to develop the product design and marketing.


All the co-operative partners will arrange their own funding. The International Dye Project will be responsible for seminars, events, training etc. organised in Finland, and the co-operative partners of the corresponding activities in their own country. Similarly, the parties will provide for their own travelling expenses arising from the journeys to joint meetings.

Everyone interested in the co-operation is warmly welcome to join the activities!

Best regards,
Kris-Tiina Valolahti, Riitta Liski and Päivi Hutri
From Väripaletti office

Contact us at 800-665-9786 or by email