In this four-part workshop, learn from textile artist Aaron Sanders Head how to turn kitchen scraps and foraged plants into natural dyes.
Onion skins have a secret. They, like many kinds of plant matter, can be transformed into a palette of brilliant colors—dyes ranging from copper to deep mustard. In this four-part online course, we’ll learn how to create natural dyes using everything from kitchen scraps to foraged plants. We’ll begin with the basics, learning the tools and terms needed to get started before setting up a dye bath and diving into the process. Not only will we use food scraps, plant dye powders, and extracts to color textiles, but we’ll also learn how to forage for regional dyestuff, depending on your local ecology. By the end of this workshop, you’ll walk away with a palette of fabrics dyed using local plants or extracts and powders, as well as a repeatable method for creating color from the contents of your compost bin.
Syllabus at a Glance
There are four total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours.
Summer Session A: Mondays starting July 26
Session 1 (Monday, 7/26, 7:30-9 PM ET): The basics of dyeing + starting your natural dye ledger
Session 2 (Monday, 8/2, 7:30-9 PM ET): Mordants + kitchen scrap dyes
Session 3 (Monday, 8/9, 7:30-9 PM ET): Foraged plant matter dyes + building a dye bath
Session 4 (Monday, 8/16, 7:30-9 PM ET): Showcase + future projects
Summer Session B: Sundays starting August 29, skipping September 5
Session 1 (Sunday, 8/29, 2:00-3:30 PM ET): The basics of dyeing + starting your natural dye ledger
- week off -
Session 2 (Sunday, 9/12, 2:00-3:30 PM ET): Mordants + kitchen scrap dyes
Session 3 (Sunday, 9/19, 2:00-3:30 PM ET): Foraged plant matter dyes + building a dye bath
Session 4 (Sunday, 9/26, 2:00-3:30 PM ET): Showcase + future projects
If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for students, regardless of economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page.
Atlas Obscura Online Courses
Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 20 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed a time that works for you for up to one week after they’ve aired.
To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.
For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.
Aaron Sanders Head is a Southern textile artist focused on natural dyes and hand-stitching. Aaron explores the intersections of practices of the past with contemporary craft, and the ways that sewing and textile arts can aid in increasing diversity and representation in the creative class. He is based in Greensboro, Alabama where he lives in an 1830s home with his partner, musician Tim Higgins, and two cats, Splenda and Turnip. He maintains an active studio practice and extensive dye garden used in his work.
This is an interactive, small-group workshop that will take place live over multiple Zoom sessions. Students will be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.
Students will be assigned weekly craft assignments, such as mordanting your fabric, which should take no more than five hours per week.
We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.
There are 18 spots available on this experience.