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 Organizations and Information Resources

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

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

Information Resources and Organizations

Asia - Cambodia

Institute For Khmer Traditional Textiles
Since 1971, Mr. Kikuo Morimoto worked with handpainted Yuzen Kimono in Kyotoas an artisan of dyeing. He moved to Thailand in 1983, teaching people inthe rural communities the techniques of how to naturally dye and hand wovencloth. In 1996, he established the Institute to restore and revitalize traditional Cambodian textiles. Since 2000, he started a work-shop for teaching traditional weaving and dyeing techniques to young women in Siem Reap.
House No.472, Road to Lake
P.O.Box 9349, Siem Reap, Angkor
Phone: +855-63-964437
(in Japanese & English - Though the site has not been updated since 2004, Mr. Morimoto assures us that the Institute is still very actively involved in natural dyes.)

Asia - India

A community based organisation working with creation of livelihood opportunities in rural villages of Kumaon Himalayas in Uttaranchal. We work with spinning, weaving and natural dyeing of natural fibres like silk, wool and linen. We are working with about 55 weavers and 500 spinners in 41 villages and hamlets in Kumaon, Uttaranchal. We are also using appropriate technology forprocessing of textiles. Solar water heaters for pre heating of water fornatural dyes, development of models of solar powered spinning wheels. All the water used in natural dyeing is recycled for irrigation. Contact: Cofounder Rashmi Bharti.
Avani, P O Tripuradevi, via Berinag
Dist. Pithoragarh, UA 262531India
Tel: 91 5964 244943

Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing
The Museum focuses on the existent tradition of hand block printing. It intends to depict the traditional inherited wisdom of a living indigenous craft in all its facets. While the museum not limited to natural dyes, traditionally block printing in India was done with natural dyes.

The Anokhi Foundation aims to help protect, conserve & further the art, culture & craft traditions of the region. It works in areas where sustainable intervention benefits local communities. The foundation's purpose is the promotion of people's awareness to the protection of their history, material culture & traditions of art & craft.
Anokhi Foundation
Chanwar Palkiwalon ki Haveli
(Anokhi Haveli)
Kheri Gate, AMBER, Jaipur
Tel:- +91 - 141 2530226

Asia - Japan

Natural Dyes and Pigments Conference
The objectives of NDPC is to
(a) deliberate on environmental issues;
(b) research and develop natural dyes and pigments which are returnable to the earth and thus have minimum impact on the environment; and
(c) promote the use of such dyes and pigments to the society at large.

The organization has held 2 international dye conferences in 2004 & 2005. The Head Official is Hisako Sumi.

NDPC, 8-207, Minami-1, Nishi-5,
Chuuou-ku, Sapporo, 060-0061, Japan
tel & fax +81-134-25-1470

Asia - Malaysia

Society Atelier Sarawak
The objectives of the society are:
- To appreciate and promote, share and acquire knowledge of Sarawak arts and crafts.
- To promote cultural exchanges of arts and crafts with other countries.
- To encourage research and study into the history and evolution of the culture, arts and crafts of Sarawak.

The activities of the society include periodic discussions; talks by local and visiting artists and experts; exhibitions; arts and crafts workshops; arts and crafts classes; demonstration of arts and crafts techniques; and publications on subjects falling within its sphere of interest. The society publishes a magazine and every two years organizes the World Eco-Fiber and Textile Forum (WEFT).

Edric Ong in Santa Fe, NM
Edric Ong, President of SAS, shows his naturally dyed designs recently in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA

A natural dye research programme was conducted to study and record some of the natural colours being used, and to discover other, hitherto unknown dye materials. Some of the new colours include "waar birar" (yellow), "ipang" (pink) and "skali" (purple).

No. 26, Main Bazaar, 93000 Kuching,
PO Box 1790, 93736
Kuching, Sarawk, Malaysia
Tel: 60-82 420042

Asia - Uzbekistan

School of UNESCO Producer of Silk Vegetable Dyed, Hand Knotted Rug & Suzane
Zarina F. Kenjaeva, master of hand embroidery & natural dyes. We also weave carpets by order - Our shop in madrasa Nodir Devon Begi.

Zarina F. Kenjaeva in Santa Fe, NM
Zarina shows naturally dyed carpets recently at the Folk Art Market
in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA

A Suzane Naturally Dyed Embroidery by Zarina
A Suzane Naturally Dyed Embroidery by Zarina

Zarina F. Kenjaeva, Eshoni-Pir St., 57,
Madrasah "ESHONI-PIR"
L. Babakhanova St: 69
Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Tel (99865) 223065-11 (app)
Fax (99865) 224-44-81
Mob (99865) 190-65-11


Netherlands Textile Museum
Website in Dutch & English

Goirkestraat 96, 5046 GN Tilburg 
Tel: 013 53 67 475 Fax: 013 53 63 240

The Society of Dyers and Colourists
An international professional society specializing in colour in all its manifestations, founded in 1884. Supporting education and training in colour science and technology at all levels.
PO Box 244, Perkin House, 82 Grattan Road, Bradford, BD1 2JB UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1274 725138
Fax: +44 (0) 1274 392888

Associazione Tintura Naturale
"Maria Elda Salice"
(Rosella Cilano, Director)
Italian documentation, research, consulting and teaching centre. Non-profit, based on its members contribution (dyers, craft people, researchers, scholars) Cooperates with individuals, private and public entities, museums and schools.
Via Gallarate, 49
20151 Milano Italy

contacts in English and French:

Finland Varipaletti Project
They are collecting and sharing know-how about natural dyes. Project is running 1.1.2004 31.12.2005, and a main target is to set up a Colour Center (Varikeskus) here in Finland, including colour museum, dye house, colour library, showroom, etc.

Their group is going to organize Colour festival here in Litti, Finland at Autumn 2005. Now they are collecting contacts from EN countries, and are trying to build up also international colour project!

More information in 2 files in Adobe pdf format
The Colour Palette (Väripaletti) -
NDI has html page of the same Project Info

Varipaletti office: Riitta Liski, Kris-Tiina Valolahti, P?ivi Hutri

mail: (under construction)

The ETN-NET Alliance
European Textile Network
The network is 3 independent organizations (the Textile Forum Service, the NET Cultural Foundation & the ETN Association) in contact with many supporters of textile culture. Its web site includes news, a calender, on-line bookstore, and web "blackboard". They also hold a bi-annual conference. Membership required for many parts of the website.

Dyes in History and Archaeology
An organization which holds regular conferences on natural dyes and publishes a journal of the proceedings. Chris Cooksey maintains a website on the meetings, the journal and contact info:
The last meeting was held on November 4-6 2004 in Montpellier, France. Chris Cooksey also has information about indigo, Tyrian purple, murexide and lichen purple on his website:

Plants for the Future
A resource centre In Cornwall, England for rare and unusual plants, particularly those which have edible, medicinal or other uses. They practice vegan-organic permaculture with emphasis on creating an ecologically sustainable environment and perennial plants.

They provide a searchable web plant database of some 7,000 plants with information on habitat, range, uses, names, etc. Included is basic information about 1,162 possible dye plants. For a small fee the database can be downloaded.

The Field, St Veep, Lostwithiel
Cornwall, PL22 0QJ, England
Tel: 01208 873 554

South America

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

North America - Canada

Textile Museum of Canada
Extremely well designed web site featuring their extensive textile collection, including excellent examples of natural dyes from the Americas, Asia, Europe & the Middle East.
Their permanent collection contains more than 10,000 textiles and spans almost 2,000 years and 190 world regions. This diverse collection includes fabrics, ceremonial cloths, garments, carpets, quilts and related artifacts which reflect the ethnographic, cultural and aesthetic significance that cloth has held over the centuries.
55 Centre Avenue, Toronto
Ontario, M5G 2H5 Canada
tel. (416) 599-5321 fax. (416) 599-2911

North America - USA

The Textile Society of America, Inc.
Provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of information about textiles worldwide, from artistic, cultural, economic, historic, political, social, and technical perspectives. Established in 1987, TSA is governed by a Board of Directors from museums and universities in North America. Its 500 members worldwide include museum curators, teachers, historians, artists, students, dealers, and collectors. They hold a biennial symposia.
P.O. Box 70, Earleville, MD 21919-0070 USA
Tel. (410) 275-2329
Fax (410) 275-8936

United States Dept Agriculture
National Resources Conservation Service
The PLANTS Database
An extensive database to look most plants in the United States. Find your favorite dyeplant and where it grows! Great illustrations, distribution maps and other information. All images in the PLANTS database are free for scientific and educational uses provided the photographer (if known), copyright holder, institution, and the PLANTS Database are properly credited.
National Plant Data Center
Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA

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

Dobag Natural Dye Project
Return to Tradition
In 1978 Dr. Harald Böhmer, a German chemist living in Turkey sparked a small revolution in the area of rug weaving. Böhmer began analyzing  dyes in old rugs using a technique called thin-layer chromatography, a method devised to analyze priceless textiles with little damage. By carefully comparing the dyes in old rugs to hundreds of plant sources, Böhmer re-identified the original plants giving vibrant natural dyes. As this process had been practically forgotten it was re-taught to a group of weavers who formed a profit-sharing cooperative known as the Natural Dye Research and Development Project, or DOBAG (the acronym for the Turkish translation). The DOBAG Project now supports about 400 families in western Turkey.

665 Third St (/Townsend) Suite 245
San Francisco. USA
(appointment only) Tel:(415) 921-4180

Yahoo Dye List
A very active email list for the discussion of natural dyes -- materials and techniques. There is a website:
where you can view messages and search for your topic, or you can also subscribe and receive them as email by sending an email to:

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.
Publishers of Shuttle, Spindle & Dye pot
They offer a Certificate of Excellence in Dyeing. An extensive bibliography to study for this certificate is posted at

Organizers of the biannual Convergence
held in Denver Jun 27 - Jul 30, 2004
1255 Buford Highway, Suite 211
Suwanee, GA 30024

Material Color
An opportunity for the international natural dye community to share new ideas, research and groundbreaking projects.
a website by Jill Peek

Wool Traditions
A nonprofit Educational Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Providing office space to Natural Dyes International

201B Camino del la Merced
Taos, NM 87529 USA
2 blocks West of Walmart

Surface Design Association
Surface Design encompasses the coloring, patterning, and structuring of fiber and fabric. This involves the creative exploration of processes such as dyeing, painting, printing, stitching, embellishing, quilting, weaving, knitting, felting, and paper making. Our mission is to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of textiles in the art and design communities as well as in the general public. We inspire creativity and encourage innovation, and further the rich tradition of the textile arts through publications, exhibitions, conferences, and educational opportunities
P.O. Box 360
Sebastopol, CA, 95473-0360 USA
707/829-3110. Fax 707/829-3285

Contact us at 800-665-9786 or by email