Conjuring color: Working with Natural Dye Color Blends and Combinations

July 15 – July 16, 2023
9 am to 5 pm


This is a course on how to blend colors using natural dyes in unexpected combinations to create beautiful results. The palette will be developed on natural fabrics including hemp, cotton, silk and wool. We will work with natural dyes in extract and liquid form, different mineral salts and indigo. Pre- and post dips in iron, pH color changes or other substances will add a new dimension to the palette. This is an immersion dye workshop but many of these techniques may be adapted for painting, printing and surface design. Each student will take away a swatch folio of many different shades, recipes and techniques for future study and experimentation. We will also discuss strategies for leftover dye baths including making simple lake pigments, overdying and other ways to extend these precious colors.

Skills and Techniques:

• How to prepare fabrics
• How mordants affect outcomes
• How fibers affect outcomes
• How to blend 2 and 3 natural dyes to create new colors
• Develop an eye for interesting color combinations
• How to deal with dye pot misfires
• How to shift colors
• How to get the most from the dye bath
• Keeping a dye journal

Materials Fee: $150-$165 Paid directly to the instructor.

Special Tools or Equipment: TBD

Instructors COVID preference: Your instructor reserves the right to require safety requirements depending on the state of the pandemic at the time of the workshop.

Workshop Policies

Please be sure to read our policies before you register for a workshop.

Age Requirements

The minimum age to attend a regularly scheduled workshop is 16 years. We have set this age to ensure a safe, productive, and community-building experience for all of our students. There are no exceptions.

Accessibility & Accommodations

If you have questions about accessibility or would like to request reasonable accommodations, please contact our main office at 603-435-7314.

Student Cancellations

Cancellations must be made at least 30 days prior to the start date of a workshop in order to receive a refund.
Registration and material costs will be refunded, minus a non-refundable $25.00 registration fee.
A full refund will be made for any amount paid for overnight housing.

Sanborn Mills Farm Cancellations

Each workshop must have a minimum number of students to be held. If Sanborn Mills Farm finds it necessary to cancel a workshop, we will notify students two weeks prior to the scheduled workshop start date. A full refund will be provided to registered students. Refunds for a workshop purchased as a gift will be made to the purchaser only. Sanborn Mills Farm cannot be held responsible for any refunds for travel expenses or for off-site housing expenses incurred as the result of a cancellation of any kind.

Housing & Meals

Please refer to our housing page for more information.


Each workshop has its own safety procedures. Your instructor will review the specific safety requirements at the start of your workshop and throughout your class. Sanborn Mills Farm is a rural setting. If you are allergic to insect bites, please alert your instructor of your allergy and bring an epipen with you. For draft animal workshops or courses requiring time in the woods, be sure to review tick safety procedures from Tick Free NH. We advise students to wear comfortable clothing, comfortable and secure shoes, and consider your personal needs for a day or extended stay.