Natural Dyes on Salt Spring Island

by - Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jane Stafford's Weaving Studio is given over to Natural Dyes.

We are teaching Charllotte Kwon's Natural Dye workshop on Salt Spring Island. Through a collaboration with Jane Stafford Textiles (and Jane herself) we have one of the best locations to study dye use. On the first day students began their mordanting schedule. It a pleasure to work outside in the open air. The natural light is also a bonus.

Charllotte Kwon looks into the mordant pot.

Students work on a variety of fibres: linen, cotton, silk, hemp, and wool. They prepare both skeins and fabric squares. By the end of the first day they will have completed the mordant and tannin steps. No colour is added yet.

Sophena Kwon puts together the sample table
with pieces from the Maiwa Textile Collection.

Maiwa travels with large sizes of natural dyes (these are priced at a wholesale rate). We also put on display a number of historic pieces selected from the Maiwa Textile Collection. These pieces showcase a variety of dye use and patterning techniques. Not only are they wonderful examples of colour on fibre - they are a tactile connection to diverse cultures around the world.

Charllotte and Maiwa sample dyer Linda Spence write
the mordanting notes for the first morning.

We are fortunate to be working in an indoor space with easy access to the outside. Jane's Studio is set up for teaching and it has everything a textile student could want.

The class includes a pop-up store in Jane's
Shop. The Maiwa stores comes to you.

We brought a little bit of both stores with us. Natural dyes, tannins, and blank scarves (many exciting handweaves from India) come from Maiwa Supply. We also brought work from the Main Maiwa store, Ajrakh blockprints; indigo shawls, and blankets from the Living Blue cooperative; and many other samples from the artisans we work with.

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