Natural Dye Workshop: Local Plant Color for Eco-Citizens with Katrina Rodabaugh

July 13, 2018 - July 15, 2018
West Park, NY

Led By: Katrina Rodabaugh

Fee: $400 (Deposit: $100)

Friday July 13 – Sunday July 15, 2018



Natural Dyes with Local Plants

Our Hudson Valley landscape is rich in natural dye plants. When we begin to identify local plants for their dye properties we gain access to an incredible palette of natural color. From roadside weeds to cultivated herb gardens we can extract dyes from our landscape to deepen our connection with nature, invigorate creative work with plant-based palettes, and hone our relationship with individual plants. Natural dyes are a wonderful way to work with slow textiles or slow fashion—intentionally shifting towards a mindful, meaningful, earth-centric process while offering expression, meditation, and even plant medicine.


In this weekend retreat we’ll forage, harvest, and collect local plants that produce beautiful color on biodegradable fibers like cotton, linen, silk, and wool. We’ll demystify the use of nontoxic mordants and modifiers, why they are important in binding plant color to fiber, and what local plants produce natural mordants too. We’ll discuss plant color for yarn, fabric, and paper; selecting secondhand garments for dyes; slow fashion and environmental activism; starting a dye garden; and how to forage with mindfulness and respect. We’ll also slow down to notice the plants and our relationship with them. We’ll conclude the retreat with a simple slow stitching project to turn a favorite dye swatch into a small amulet for a special necklace, pocket charm, or pendant.


This workshop is suited for any plant enthusiast, artist, designer, creative, maker, knitter, stitcher, fiber lover, gardener, farmer, herbalist, activist, or eco-citizen who simply wants to experiment with natural dyes and deepen their connection with plants and color. All materials included: Wool, silk, cotton, and linen fabrics for color swatches; thread and needles for stitching amulets; a pamphlet with various resources and step-by-step dye instructions; tools to share; and the confidence to continue deepening this creative practice beyond the retreat. Workshop runs from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.


Katrina Rodabaugh is an artist, writer, and crafter working across disciplines to explore environmental and social issues through traditional craft techniques. Mostly, she rethinks the relationship between fiber art, sustainability, and slow fashion. Her work has appeared in galleries, magazines, theaters, books, juried craft fairs, and alternative art venues across the United States. She received her BA in Environmental Studies and her MFA in Creative Writing where she focused on poetry and book arts, though her fiber arts training started as a child at the side of her mother’s sewing machine.


She’s received artist awards, grants, and residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Creative Capacity Fund, and the Country Living Magazine Blue Ribbon Blogger Award, among others. Her first book, The Paper Playhouse, was published in January 2015 by Quarry Books. Since August 2013 she’s been on a fashion fast, Make Thrift Mend, to focus on mending, plant dyes, and prioritizing handmade or secondhand garments over factory fashion. She grows, forages, and harvests dye plants near her farmhouse in the Hudson Valley and teaches mending, natural dyes, and slow fashion workshops across the United States.  Visit or katrinarodabaugh on Instagram.



Categories: Ecology/Theology  |  The Arts  |  Workshops