Intro to Natural Dyes
Introduction to Natural Dyeing in the primary colors
Over the past year, I am most the proud of the launch of my signature course: Intro to Natural Dye: primary. I feel lucky that over 9 months, I was able to test and run it 3 times, with a group of inspiring artists each accomplished in their own rite.
Today, I would like to share some images of student work that came out of last Natural Dye group e-course! In our group course we study the primary colors, how they can be used in combination to create new colors and with overlays. We also experiment with assists and modifiers while taking good notes.
I recommend this course for those who are interested in learning about authentic dye-stuff that has been used since antiquity. Dyes that are known to be lightfast and colorfast. When I started my natural dye journey, as a painter I was simply interested in using natural materials to create color. I have learned a lot since those first experiments with food waste. Ever since creating my first indigo vat, I was hooked on working with those varying shades of blue.
I have opened the course 3 times over the past year. With dyers joining us from across the U.S. and even the world. I think that perhaps the best way for me to describe the experience is inspiring and connection. I love to see what other artists, teachers, costumers, and beyond come up with. In fact, this course is not only for designers, but for those who wish to invite creativity and sustainability into their wardrobes and ultimately their life.
From the left: Indigo Kimono by costumer designer, Stefanie Cryton, Logwood and Osage vintage by Annie Rybak, and Indigo Shibori by guests from my garden workshop.
We begin the course by learning about how to prepare the materials. How to scour, mordant, and use tannin. Next we dye, using the rind of the pomegranate, which produces rich shades of golden yellow as seen below in the underlay work by Carissa S at left.
From the left: Indigo Shawl by Carissa S. Indigo vintage top by Jenn Lima, Machined Resist by Rachel Theimann.
3 things that makes this course unique are color, context, & technique. As a painter, I became deeply fascinated with the hues that could be produced by using natural dyes, and I work to produce a color wheel of color so to speak. By starting with the primary colors, a range of secondary colors are possible.
Next, the course in context of the group and with the large goal of sustainable living. Some thing that has always spoken to me are vintage pieces, home linens, and giving items a new or longer shelf life. This is just one aspect of the sustainable nature of natural dyeing- although there are quite of few more. In these photos, you will notice that many of the pieces are vintage or up cycled work on cotton. Along with the natural fibers themselves being some of the most sustainable.
From the left: Eco-print & Natural Dye top by Ann Rybak, Pomegranate on gauze & Indigo scarf by Hilary L Hahn.
Here is what Natural Dyer, Anne Rybak had to say about the 4 week course: “Feeling pretty dang cool and glamorous in my new scarf! Thank you Hilary! I had a Wonderful 4 weeks in your natural dye workshop:) I’m hooked!”
Throughout this course, I weave in knowledge of various binds & Japanese Shibori to help you create original patterns. Lastly, I truly feel that the course will broaden your perspective on fashion, fibers, and open you up to a deeper way of living with natural materials, dye-stuff and your new dyer friends from around the world. We learn so much from each other and the experience on this shared journey. At the moment, I only open this course a handful of times out of the year, so that we can all journey together and make the most of the deep learning experience. As of press time, there are 4 spots left!
We can't wait for you to join us inside>>>
Dye course is currently OPEN through the end of this week Jan. 18th, 2021
Eco-print with Eucalyptus, Chamomile, and Avocados
I have enjoyed eco-printing with natural dye-stuff this winter. After several years of experimentation, I look forward to sharing some combinations that I enjoy. I have been getting good prints using eucalyptus on silk. One interesting thing about eucalyptus is there are around 600-700 species of the tree. There are at least 3 varieties that I find in the Miracle Mile neighborhood here in L.A. which are: Silver princess (pictured below), Silver Dollar, and Lemon Eucalyptus. I enjoy using all 3 for printmaking. If you order a botanical bundle- you will receive one of these varieties, along with chamomile flowers. They can be additionally sourced at the floral section of many markets.
You can botanically dye a range of natural fibers such as silk, cotton and chiffon. For this project, I used a silk square, eucalyptus, gingko leaves, and chamomile flowers. Next, I steamed and partially submerged the piece in an avocado dye bath binding the piece using Arashi Shibori techniques.
The ends reveal those deeper rose pinks from the avocado submersion. The pops of yellow are the ground chamomile flowers and the clear prints are the Eucalyptus. Near the edges- I got some clear gingko leaves which were basically halos of the gingko leaves where the dye discharged near the submersion of the edges.
The lines are due the way that I like to print & bind my fibers using a mirror image and thin twine in Arashi Shibori fashion. I would say there are other ways to bind fiber onto a dowel or stick this is just one method of bundling.
At the moment, I am putting together a kit of the chamomile flowers and the eucalyptus. I am planning a LIVE event on January 10th for dyers who love dyeing with foraged botanical. Would you like to get together and see what range we can come up with? I love seeing all the hues that come from avocado and eucalyptus! All dyers will use their own foraged materials. Kits can be added-on and are almost ready, be sure to contact me to receive one in the mail. Dye kit includes a silk square, eucalyptus leaves, iron, chamomile flowers and twine.
Our foraged dye event registration is now open. Comment below with any questions that you have about dyeing with avocado. Please join us this Sunday, January 17th!
Natural dyeing with Cutch
Natural Dyeing silk masks with Cutch for Vince
A few weeks back, we shared dyeing basics and nuanced techniques with our community on how to naturally dye silk masks at home. This was one of my favorite collaborations with Vince, an iconic California luxury lifestyle brand. I am always inspired by the textiles, silhouettes and materials that Vince offers. One thing that I love about the brand is many of their pieces feature natural fibers, such as cashmere, cotton, linen and silk, all of which are ideal for Natural Dyeing. For this workshop, we hand-dyed masks using Cutch, an historic natural dye-stuff found in the heart center of the acacia tree. Not only does Cutch yield a beautiful range of colors but it smells quite earthy and nice when it's simmering.
Our Natural Dye kits included.
You can learn more about the process here:
The first thing to do is always prepare your fibers. In this case, we use a mordant: Alum because Cutch is high in tannin, and does not require an additional tannin (for cellulose only). For clarification, although our masks were silk, some dyers also up-cycled clothing items such as cotton tees.
A mordant is a mineral salt that is used to allow the dye to more readily color the fibers. With this dye the use of an alum mordant is known to shift the color toward golden- so some may skip this step to achieve red-browns instead. Cutch also appears more red brown due to the silk!
Part of the beauty & magic of natural dye is the range of colors and the other is the part that the color truly is plant color derived from nature that is colorfast and lightfast! Anthony G, the Palisades store manager and I, had so much fun tie-dyeing out on the veranda.
If you would like to learn more about Natural Dyes, receive free tutorials and invites to workshops then be sure to join our community of textile designers, dyers and artists!
If you feel ready to take a deeper dive in to Natural Dyes & would love to start up cycling all of your linens and belongings- then take a look at my self-paced e-course Intro to Natural Dyes: Primary and take the plunge into Natural Dyes this January!
Last but not least, we still have a handful of similar Natural Dye Design kits available so you can snag one here while supplies last!
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a hand-crafted lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of contemporary California design. I love dreaming up products for an artful sustainable home. I offer workshops to inspire you to live your best life by connecting you to your creativity and others. I hope to meet you in person at one of my current craft workshops for creatives like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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