words by Jade
A few weeks ago we had our first natural dye workshop, I wasn’t really sure what to expect but excitedly I went along. And I am so glad I did.
Nicole imparted her wonderful experience and knowledge to the ten eager students and she encouraged us to experiment and try out our own ideas too. After showing us what she had learned from the locally growing plants, we foraged together and then the wonder really started as we put colour onto fabric and began dying….
It was a truely magical experience! I was astonished at the vibrancy and diversity of colours you can achieve from natural dye techniques. Even more incredible was the variety of colours individual plants had to offer. Filled with wonderment and curiosity and feeling like an alchemist, I added a touch of bicarbonate soda water to my turmeric dyed fabric and watched as the vibrant happy yellow turned a deep rich red. Lilly-pilly is a beautiful candy floss pink which, with the help of bicarb or lemon, turns turquoise and peach, creating a “sunset over bondi” painting on my cotton fabric.
To find these beautiful colours from plants growing in our suburb opened my eyed to new creative endeavours, and the best part was that I wasn’t worried about getting the plant juices on my skin (in fact when I made a mess with blackberries, I just licked my hands clean!). No synthetic dyes bought in plastic bottles, just gifts from mother nature collected fresh and for free, many foraged from our very own community garden.
When the workshop came to a close, I was reluctant to leave and when I finally did, I returned home with a head full of new knowledge and ideas, rainbow dyed hands and a heart full of joy.
Merci beaucoup Nicole.