about usprogrammingwritingsmemberscontactfacebookIstagram

Direct Natural Dyeing With Locally Foraged Botanicals

with Miriam Kaufmann

Saturday December 12
3:00 - 6:00 pm

Tuition: $138.20 ($40 class fee + HST + $75 materials fee + $18 shipping)
Maximum 30 participants


This workshop is SOLD OUT. Due to the fact that materials packages need to be mailed, there is no waiting list for this workshop.

While most small-batch dyers typically use a dye bath to dye fibre or yarn with botanicals, it is also possible to create patterns with petals and seeds working directly onto yarn or a fabric blank. With this method, it is easier to produce difficult-to-achieve colours such as purples and greens using northeastern North American plants.

Participants in this workshop will receive a materials kit containing locally foraged botanicals, plus a Magical Mystery Mix, a pre-mordanted knitted yarn blank and other supplies. Participants will need to supply their own microwave oven (if not available, steaming is possible, but final results might not be ready on the afternoon of the workshop), some string or waste yarn, and scissors. Participants can also save onion skins and flower petals to use in the process.

The workshop will start with a discussion and demonstration of the colours that will result from the botanicals found in the kit, and then participants will be led through the process of designing onto a blank. We will also discuss respectful foraging techniques, and will look at other ways of using this dye method. There will be a virtual hands-on component where participants will dye their blanks and a "reveal" of the finished textiles at the end of the workshop.

Allergies: This workshop is not recommended for anyone who is allergic to any dried flowers. Flowers are dried in a cat and dog-free environment.

Metal Sensitivities: Most mordants are metal based and these blanks will be mordanted with alum. If you get a dermatitis from aluminum, you should wear gloves and protect yourself from drips. If you feel this won't protect you and you want to participate, you can request an un-mordanted blank and mordant it yourself with acorns or avocado skins and pits, both of which contain fairly high levels of tannin.

Visual impairment: the instructor can meet with you over a video link before the workshop to help you label the botanicals.

Participants will be contacted prior to the workshop with instructions on how to connect for the live portion of the class


Miriam Kaufman (aka meejumArts) is a long-time knitter and crocheter who threw herself into foraging, dyeing, spinning and weaving upon her retirement three years ago. She is also a goldsmith and a lamp worker, an activist, a nonfiction author and lesbian parent of two wonderful adults. She is a member of the Akin Artist Collective where she has a studio and also works in her home fibre studio (and makes beads at BeadFX). She foraged on foot 3 hours a day, 7 days a week for three months to prepare the materials for this workshop. She is a Professor Emerita at the University of Toronto and lives in Toronto with her partner of many years.