Natural Dyeing Basics

Learn how to use natural dyes with plant and animal based fibres. Instructor Caitlin ffrench guides you through all the steps of natural dyeing – how to scour, mordant and dye your materials (and the importance behind each step), along with the best dyeing practices for your home or studio set-up.  

Caitlin ffrench · April 28, 2021
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Join in learning all about the basics of natural dyeing, taught by Caitlin ffrench!

The range of colours that can be produced with natural dyes has a cohesiveness and harmony that roots us to our environment. The natural dye journey is full of colour play and learning – learning how to work with the dye materials, mixing colours to get the outcome you want, all while taking excellent notes along the way!

In this course, Caitlin guides you through the basics, including:

  • learn some of the history of natural dyes.
  • learn about scouring and mordanting your materials, and the importance behind these steps.
  • how to scour and mordant plant and animal based fibres.
  • how to prepare your natural dye pots and the process of dyeing plant and animal based fibres.
  • safe dyeing practices and suggested tools for your home or studio set-up.
  • examples of natural dyeing on different fibre bases: cotton, superwash wool, and a wool + silk blend.
  • best wildcrafting practices and how to be the best ally to your land base.

As Caitlin shares in the course, we are a part of the ecosystem, and by using the term land base, we’re acknowledging that we’re not just taking something from it, but are a part of the entire system and how it works. Learn how natural dyes work and how they are similar, or different, from other types of dyes such as acid dyes.

Once you’ve begun your natural dye journey, please do show us your results as well! We’ll be gathering over in the SOS Community Forums and on social media using #sosnaturaldyeing would love to see what you make!

Dyeing with fresh indigo leaves is such a fun and easy way of getting started with natural dyeing. Indigo has been used for thousands of years by cultures around the world, and we`re happy to share the beauty of creating colour with these leaves at our new Fresh Indigo Leaf Dyeing course taught by Caitlin ffrench @ffrench! Learn the magic of creating beautiful hues using both the salt rub method and ice dyeing method.⁠

Learn more at the course page – direct link in bio » ⁠

We absolutely can`t wait to see what you create as you work your way through this course. Please share with us your progress and any questions in the SOS community forums. Enjoy exploring all the fabulous indigo hues!⁠

#sosnaturaldyeing #sosdyeing #schoolofsweetgeorgia #caitlinffrench #indigo #freshindigo #saltrub #icedyeing #freshindigoworkshop

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Is your mini-skein stash growing? Taking place this September, join in the the fun chat thread in the SOS community forums about our casual make-along, the Great Mini Skein Stash Down, where we`ll knit, weave, crochet, punch needle, tapestry etc. with mini-skeins accumulated from the SOS dyeing study groups and courses. ⁠

Whatever you want to make is fine! This is an unofficial make-along so no hashtags, deadlines, prizes nor rules. Simply an encouraging space to use some of the supplies you have unused (or left over); everyone loves a good mini-skein/scrap busting project! If you know of a good pattern you have done in the past, please share it in the forum thread too. SweetGeorgia has added three patterns available to SOS Members: weaving pattern Trimmed in Twill by Felicia @felicialowong, knitting pattern Winter Dawn by Tabetha @tabismiles, and Felicia`s crochet Granny Square tutorial. We hope you`ll join in and make with us!⁠

Pictured here: From the Natural Dyeing Basics course, instructor Caitlin ffrench`s @ffrench naturally dyed mini-skeins!⁠

#sosdyeing #sosnaturaldyeing #soscommunity #miniskein #stashbusting #makealong

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I`m currently spinning through the Rya fleeces that I dyed last year. I`m spinning it all up as singles for use in weaving for upholstery or in weft bundles for tapestry weaving.

It has been lovely revisiting the colours I dyed in 2021. I wonder what colours will come out of the dyepot in 2022?

Pictured skein is 240 meters of Nm 6.4/1 yarn with a diameter of 20wpcm (51wpi), spun from Rya wool that was dyed in the fleece using pomegranate grounds with an alum mordant and an iron modifier.

#svenskull #wool #ull #spinning #spinnersofinstagram #naturaldyeing #green #ryaull #yarn #schoolofsweetgeorgia #sosnaturaldyeing #sosspinning #sosnaturaldyeingstudygroup

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April showers bring May flowers! May is here and we sure know exactly what to do with all the fabulous natural colour we`re awaiting in our garden beds… eco printing! ⁠

Whether you harvest natural dye materials from your landbase or source from a natural dye supplier, join in the fun at Caitlin ffrench`s @ffrench Eco Printing with Natural Dyes workshop at the SOS site »⁠

#sosnaturaldyeing #caitlinffrench #schoolofsweetgeorgia #ecoprint #naturaldyeing

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Start the long weekend with bundles of beautiful natural colour! Teaching different methods of folding, clamping and bundling techniques, learn all about printing with plants at Eco Printing, taught by Caitlin ffrench @ffrench!⁠

At the School, you can also find Caitlin`s Natural Dyeing Basics course, as well as Planting a Natural Dye Garden, to learn more about the fabulous and fun practice of natural dyeing. And if you`re not yet an SOS member, or have a fibre friend you`d like to learn along with, use the code: SPRINGSTART to get 7 days for $1 plus save 10% off your subscription! We hope to see you there!⁠

#sosnaturaldyeing #sosdyeing #ecoprint #ecoprinting #contactprint #naturaldyeing #naturaldyes #caitlinffrench #schoolofsweetgeorgia

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About Instructor

Caitlin ffrench

Caitlin ffrench is a natural dyer, paint maker, forest lover, and stick collector. Caitlin wildcrafts natural dyes and earth pigments from various land bases she visits as a way to create a visual record of place through pigment memories.

4 Courses

Not Enrolled
Available for All-Access Members

Course Includes

  • 31 Lessons
  • Course Certificate