Botanical Dye and Aromatherapy Workshop Recap + Field Notes
Last weekend, we hosted an awesome group of guests who discovered the power and possibility of plants working with all natural plant based dyes at our Botanical Dyeing and Aromatherapy workshop in Topanga. In this workshop, we experiment with natural dye on fiber while exploring aromatherapeutic blends. Everyone created something beautiful, and the art of botanical dyes intertwined perfectly with aromatherapy. All of the attention and energy that went into organizing the event paid off big when we saw the results on silk and smelled the beautiful aromatherapeutic blends. Be sure to scroll on down to see the marvelous results!
Today, I will share some pictures and inspiration from the day, so that you can learn more about the process, if you would like to try botanical dyeing at home. If you are considering attending a future event, then you can sign-up later in the post.
The night before all of the silks were pre-soaked with alum, a mineral mordant then left to dry.
Guests laid out irises, hibiscus, dried rose petals, and onion skins in a random and creative fashion to be used as dye, then rolled and folded their silk bundles to steam in the kitchen. We secured them with twine. Some guests even applied some shibori-like folds to their bundles. While our botanical dye bundles were steaming, we were treated to some amazing Aromatherapy with Flin K. Grant.
The workshop goal was simply to educate and enjoy the experience of using pure oils for holistic wellness and aromatic pleasure.
We worked on designing 2 blends. One was called the "tree" and it included 7 or 8 ingredients from the root to the flowers. I love the blend that I made, which includes 1 drop of everything from palo santo to lemon oil and jasmine in a coconut carrier oil.
Guests each created 2 roller blends to take home.
After about an hour of steaming, the botanical bundles are ready to be opened up! Below are just a few of the kaleidoscopic results. We had a range of hues from deep purples, pinks, yellows to deep rust.
This summer in Malibu, guests will choose to design a farmer's market cotton tote or scarf to be designed in outdoors in and organic garden and kitchen at Saddlerock Ranch. See all the details here!
My sweet friend Kristine looking fly in her new botanically-infused silk scarf. We use large airy silk scarves that measure 22" x 72". I also recommend vintage silk or cotton pieces because the fibers are washed and worn, ready to receive color. I have to say that my favorite part of these events is spending the day connecting with new and old friends, surrounded by creativity in nature.
List of Natural Dye Supplies
This is the only workshop of it's kind combining the unique properties of plant dyes with Aromatherapy. We relish and enjoy the intersection of the two, for example dyeing with plants such as lavender while using it's oil in Aromatherapy. Another example from this workshop, was our use of orange peels. First, we ate mandarins, then saved the peels for use in dyeing, later we used citrus oils such as orange, lemon, and lime in our aromatherapeutic blends with Flin. For more information on aromatherapy, you can read Flin's interview Working As: A Certified Aromatherapist with a Natural Beauty Product Line.
To learn more about Natural Dyeing, you can see some of my related tutorials below:
If you know someone who would enjoy our Malibu workshop, then please feel free to share it and join my list to receive updates on future events.
Coming up soon, I hope to share a guide to my natural dye experiments with plant and hue.
HI, I'M HILARY.
This is where I share inspiration for a handmade lifestyle from natural dye methods, textile surface techniques, and the best of California design. I love dreaming up products for a sustainable artful home. I offer creative 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 workshops for creative people like you! Join my tribe to receive your first free video on Shibori folding with me.
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