Buttery yellow from garden weeds or gorgeous garnet-red dye from flowers — achieving stunning colors for your fabric, yarn, and other natural materials is almost as easy as boiling water, with ingredients as close as your spice cabinet and as plentiful as fallen leaves on an autumn day.
Through step-by-step instructions and color-saturated photographs, textile designer Sasha Duerr explains the basics of making and using natural plant dye, from gathering materials and making the dyes to simple ideas for how to use them.
Have a picnic on a sunny turmeric-yellow tablecloth, give a baby some adorable acorn-dipped booties, craft a set of stunning black-walnut pillows, or treat yourself to a little black(berry) dress. Experimenting with color has never been more tempting to try.
Gentle, sustainable, garden-to-garment practices will inspire knitters, sewers, and fabric lovers of all stripes to transform fiber, textiles, and even pre-loved clothes into works of art — and to have a lot of fun in the process.
about Sasha Duerr
Sasha Duerr is an artist and designer who works with organic dyes and fibers, focusing on the creative reuse of materials. She is dedicated to a cross-pollination of textiles and environmental systems thinking, gaining inspiration from the ecological principles found in permaculture, as well as from regenerative design for food, clothing, and shelter. In 2007, Sasha founded Permacouture Institute to encourage sustainable design and education from the ground up in fashion and textiles. Through Permacouture, Sasha has addressed audiences on natural dyes and sustainable textiles at colleges and universities across the country, and she consults on sustainable fashion for the fashion and textile industries. Sasha has received multiple grants to teach natural dyeing at the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, California, and has taught courses on Slow Textiles at artist workshops, colleges, and community and school garden programs. She serves on the panel of experts for the Nordic Initiative for Clean and Ethical.
Sasha’s textile art and design has been shown in galleries and museums in the United States and abroad. Her work has been featured in such publications as San Francisco, Selvedge, Fast Company, and Eco Salon. Her bioregional knitwear collection with Casey Larkin is Adie + George. She teaches at the California College of the Arts, where she earned an MFA in textiles. She offers courses that focus on the convergence of ecoliteracy and social practice in textile art and design.