demystifying natural dyes&prints

May 10-12, 2019 with Olga Kazanskaya


Natural colorants, tannins, cellulose, metal salts, - all these components we are using in natural dyeing and botanical printing are components of plant cells. Understanding the interaction between them gives us the key for creating quick, clean and efficient dyeing and printing protocols.


“Fibrary” = library of textile samples. This word was invented by students in the class of 2018 and we like to use it.

During this class, you will learn to combine botanical prints with natural dyes such as indigo, madder, logwood, rhubarb and cochineal. Two other groups of compounds, tannins and metal salts, will help to make the images sharp, the colors deep and sustainable. Olga will provide you the basics which you can then use in your work in order to develop your own dying style. She will share with you the results of her recent experiments. One direction we will explore is pretreatment of leaves with natural dyes or tannins, a simple trick which gives great results. Also we will test the pretreatment of the carrier-cloths and the discharge paste.


During the first two days, you will create a library of samples on wool, silk and cotton. We will test several methods of mordanting and creation of a colored background. All participants will get a pdf Fibrary with a detailed description and a set of samples.

The third day will be dedicated to a bigger project: each participant can make two shawls or some yardage using one of the chosen methods found during first two days.


Olga Kazanskaya works from her studio in South Germany near Heidelberg. She has a scientific background (PhD in molecular biology), that’s why her approach differs from many other dyers. Her constant experimentation based on scientific knowledge produces new techniques which she teaches online and in her workshops worldwide. After years of working with mixed techniques she has concentrated on natural dyes. Olga’ principle is to demistify natural dyeing and to create shorter and non-toxic procedures.


All workshops are being taught in Dutch and/or English. We will serve fresh coffee and homemade lunches, with healthy salades, farmers bread and several Dutch cheeses.

disclamer : Images are not exemplary of products that will be exactly made by participants

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