Creating Colour Naturally for Over 30 Years

by - Friday, April 26, 2019

Maiwa stocks the largest collection of natural dyes available. We've been using natural dyes for over 30 years. We've been teaching how to get exceptional colourfast results for decades. Let whatever draws you to natural colour draw you to Maiwa.

We have free comprehensive instructions:



A lot of new natural dye books have come on the market in the past 10 years. The craft has exploded with a plethora of creative, visually-stimulating manuals on how to get colour out of natural sources.

Few books, however, are as eagerly anticipated as the one that just arrived in Maiwa. The Art and Science of Natural Dyes: Principles, Experiments, and Results by Joy Boutrup and Catharine Ellis has been worth the wait. The book works well on a number of levels. If you are new to natural dyes and you want a clean, uncluttered introduction this book is for you. The transparency of the writing and organization provide ample motivation to dive in and get started. Follow the methodologies presented in the book and you will have a solid foundation to build a lifelong practice. You will also have avoided a number of the mistakes that can take the magic out of making a dyepot. For experienced dyers the book contains many revelations. Advanced techniques open up new territory, and will expand the dyer’s way of looking at colour and cloth, pigment and pattern. Advanced techniques are presented in detail with just as much clarity as introductory topics.

Perhaps, when looking at the authors, we should not be surprised that The Art and Science of Natural Dyes is so thoroughly thought out and well presented. Catharine Ellis has devoted her life to the textile arts and is already a pioneer in the process of woven shibori. The work was first published in 2005 and then completely reimagined to include natural dyes. The natural dye version was published in 2016. Catherine has been an educator and an active artist, maintaining an enviable exhibition record. She has partnered in the publication with long-time friend and collaborator Joy Boutrup. 

Joy has a background as a textile engineer. She has a natural tendency to plumb the depths of process. This practical training together with her own formidable curiosity and insight make her the perfect complement to Catherine. The book reads as if there were a single author. In the writing there is no separation between art and science. Rather the two are bound together like the mordant and the dye - a wonderful combination resulting in true colour.

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