Living Skills: Introduction to Plant Dyeing with India Betar

  • 17 Jun 2017
  • 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Waverton
  • 5


  • Members fee: $10, non-members $25

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Learn to use plants from your garden and your environment to make beautifully coloured fabric.

You are invited to a workshop on natural plant dyes by India Betar, a textile artist based in Sydney (see for examples of her works). The workshop will cover a short introduction to natural plant dyeing, with an overview of various techniques and the basic principles and tools.

India will first demonstrate eco print dying, making sample size eco prints on silk and other materials. Then she will help to set up a solar dye jar to dye silk scarf for everyone to take home.

It should be a very busy and productive 2hrs so please come prepared to get started on time to make the most of it.

The cost: for PSN members $10 per person, non-members $25. Fabrics will be provided.

What to bring:
  • Paper and pen to take notes.


  • 1 Large glass jar 2 Litre minimum size, screw top or preserving Air/Water tight
  • A couple of large clean pebbles, that fit inside your jar
  • String or twine, from natural fibres (plastic is not good). If you want to have a go at dyeing thread you can use that.
  • Scissors 
  • 250g plus Coloured plant material - Strong colours are best. Pale colours and green won’t give you anything much. Single plant type and single colour for best results because mixing colours doesn’t work. Petals etc can be collected and stored in the freezer in a plastic bag until the workshop. More is better.

Examples: Tibouchina, Azaleas, Salvia bract and flower, Roses, Violas and Daisies and many more. Also foliage Prunus ‘Nigra’, Coleus, purple trad. Even coloured berries just make sure they have lots of colour when squashed between the fingers eg Dianella.

Please don’t be tempted to buy flowers. No Oleander or camellia.  I will have some back up but not much


  • A mesh lingerie bag or piece of net 30cm square would do it. Will give your solar dye a more even colour result.
  • Odd bits of interesting leaves or plant bits from your garden for the eco dyeing
  • Odd bits (small, less then 20cm square) of white or pale dyed natural fabric Silk/ Wool or Hemp are best especially if you want to have a go at eco dyeing them or chucking them in your solar jar to see what happens. The more fabric you put in the jar the more dilute your results so not too much. I can’t promise you they will get used it will depend on the day.

If you have any questions please direct them to:

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