Natural Dyes

HCR74, Box 21912, El Prado
New Mexico 87529

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Robin Collier

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 Instructions & Classes

Instruction | Sources | Dyed Textiles | Organizations
Workshops | Exhibits | Natural Dye Events

If you wish to add information to this page, email

Web Pages with Instructions for Mordanting & Natural Dyeing

Natural Dye Teachers
Organizations offering Classes

As you will find in reading books on natural dyes, there is wide variation in the specific steps suggested for natural dyeing. Traditions vary widely from culture to cultural and there are many ways to do things. You must experiment & find the methods that work for you and your local dyes, water and fibers. We therefore give you links to these web pages with no guarantees on the methods they offer.

Maiwa Handprints

Indigo Dye (220 KB pdf) An overview of the life of this famous dye with information on the difference between synthetic and natural indigo. These instructions also include everything you need to know in order to setup your own indigo vat.

Japanese Paste-Resist Dying (440 KB pdf)
A variety of dye techniques are possible through the use of a flour-based paste resist. These instructions provide background to the techniques as well as recipies and instructions for creating your own paste-resist.

Batik Datasheet (450 KB pdf) An brief overview of batik history with detailed instructions on the batik process.

A Indigo Blog by M. Joan Lintault
Instructions on many different Indigo methods.
(We do not agree with all terminology & chemical explanations given, such as refering to bacterial processes as fermentation)

Earth Guild

Basic instructions for natural dyeing.

More detailed instruction on mordanting your fiber.

3 recipes for Dyeing with Indigo, including a recipe with yeast for a truly "fermented" method.

Instructions for dyeing with Cochineal Bugs.

Instructions for natural dyeing basket reeds.

Aurora Silks - Cheryl Kolander

Principals of natural dyeing, including equipment, mordanting and basic dye techniques.

Detailed instructions on dyeing indigo with traditional bacterial method. (called here "fermented" which would actually be with yeast not the bacteria from madder root as specified)

Detailed instructions on dyeing with logwood

A philosophical treatise on why we should use natural dyes

The Prairie Fibers Co.™
Natural Dyes, Paints & Pigments
Their website has several pages of general information about dyeing techniques & recipes.

This page has basic dyeing instruction and specifics for dyeing with roots & barks, flowers, fruits and osage orange, calendula, marigold, cochineal, madder root, henna, brazilwood, & rosehips

Instructions for dyeing with black walnut hulls Also links to many other articles and web pages about black walnuts.

Ecological Arts
Rebbecca Burgess teaches classes and workshops for kids & adults on all types textile skills, including natural dyeing using native plants from Northern California. Marin County, CA USA

The Dye Works
Natural Dye Extracts, Earth Oxides, Surface Design Tools and Instruction
Longmont, Colorado USA
303-530-4777 fax 303-530-3830

Earth Hues
A Natural Dye Colour Company
Natural Dye Extracts & Instruction
Michelle travels all around the world giving workshops on natural dyeing and the use of her extracts.

Michelle Wipplinger
5129 Ballard Avenue NW
Seattle, WA 98107 USA

Fibrecrafts & George Weil
UK supplier of textile & dyeing supplies and books They offer classes.
George Weil, Old Portsmouth Road, Peasmarsh, Guildford
Surrey, GU3 1LZ United Kingdom
Phone 0 (+44) 1483 565 800
Fax 0 (+44) 1483 565 807

Randy Chelsey
Natural dyeing teacher - private
PO Box 72
Davenport, CA 95017 USA
phone: 831-423-5751

Tierra Wools
A worker owned weaving company
They offer 2 to 5 day classes on dyeing, weaving & spinning

Box 229 Los Ojos, NM 87551 USA

Antropólogos del Surandino - ASUR (Anthropologists of the Southern Andes)
The mission of ASUR is to encourage indigenous artistic and handicraft production of high quality and its commercialization, with the aim of:

  • generating employment and income in the rural areas
  • revitalizing the communities' cultural creativity
  • giving spiritual enrichment to the customer
  • and strengthening the touristic development of Sucre, Bolivia.

Given that ASUR conceives of indigenous economic development as something inseparable from its cultural context, ASUR gives priority to craft production of high quality, on the basis of the creativity of traditional Andean communities, without excluding other productive possibilities.
Their textile museum includes 7 exhibit rooms.

Their Bolivian textiles projects include the Jalq'a Textile Project in the community of Irupampa and the Tarabuco Textile Project.

The two projects now encompass 16 female workshops in as many communities, distributed among the two regions (Jalq'a and Tarabuco). And 5 male production units. Around 1,000 weavers are enrolled in the projects.

Casa Capellanica. Calle San Alberto No 413 or Casilla 662 - Sucre - Bolivia

Tel (591) (64) 53841 Fax (591) (64) 62194  
Web site in English, Español, Français, & Deutch

 The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco
The Center established in 1996 to aid in preserving and reviving Peruvian Inca textiles. The Center was formed in response to concerns that valuable 2000-year-old textile traditions are in danger of being lost in our generation.

Inspired by Nilda Callañaupa, an internationally known Peruvian weaver serving as Director of the Center, many communities in the Cusco region are renewing their interest in a rich past of extraordinary textile designs and complex weaving techniques.
In Vermont:
Elizabeth or David Van Buskirk 802-425-3749
In Peru:
Nilda Callañaupa:

Donations may be sent to:
Ed Franquemont, Treasurer
The Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco
Box 1378, New Haven, CT, 06505

Ibile Indigo House
A working studio open to the public and available on request to artists, educators, organizations, and students of all ages. The Ibile Indigo House on St. Helena Island were founded as a result of collaboration between founder Arianne King Comer and Nigerian dyers and artisans from around the world.

  • Learn traditional West African organic indigo dye processes
  • Bring your favorite natural fabric or garment to be dyed indigo blue
  • Arrange for customized workshops, classes or presentations
  • See a large selection of original indigo creations, including coats, dresses, pants, shirts, scarves, ties, quilts, fabrics by the yard, adire panels, wall hangins, paintings, frames, boxes, note cards, lamp shades and other home furnishing accessories

27 Penn Circle East
St. Helena Island, South Carolina 29920 USA
phone: (843) 838-3884 fax: (843) 838-8023

International Mushroom Dye Institute
Formed in 1985 by Miriam C. Rice, a non-profit organization for educational purposes and to promote the use of mushroom dyes around the world as an alternative dye source for fiber artists. They have a web page, newsletter and give classes
Contact: Dorothy Beebee

Handweavers Guild of America
A nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging excellence, inspiring creativity, and preserving fiber traditions through education. They offer a Certificate of Excellence in Dyeing. An extensive bibliography to study for this certificate is posted at

Organizers of the biannual Convergence
1255 Buford Highway, Suite 211
Suwanee, GA 30024

Instruction | Sources | Dyed Textiles | Organizations
Workshops | Exhibits | Natural Dye Events

Contact us at 800-665-9786 or by email