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Natural Dye Basics: Dyeing Yarn with Mordant Dyes and Indigo-Fall Session

September 14 @ 9:00 am - September 16 @ 5:00 pm


Natural Dye Basics: Dyeing Yarn with Mordant Dyes & Indigo-Fall Session

Sara Goodman

Wednesday, September 14th – Friday, September 16th

9:00am – 5:00pm

Workshop Overview

The Natural Dye Basics workshop series at Sanborn Mills Farm is taught by our lead teacher, Sara Goodman. This series of 5 classes are an introduction to the colorful world of natural dyes. Each class stands alone — take one or take them all! Each class will include the basics of proper fiber preparation as well as an orientation to the studio’s procedures and practices.

This is truly a class about color! In this workshop, students will dye yarn as skeins or in wound warps for weaving. Students use immersion baths to dye the fiber all one color and make dyes into thickened paints for painting skeins and warps different colors. It is rare, in introductory dye classes, to ever get to the stage of mixing colors and inventing new combinations. In this workshop, students will explore this process, both in the dye baths and for the paints. At the time of the workshop, plants will be ready to use for dyeing from the Sanborn Mills Farm dye garden. Students will also use concentrated dye extracts to make into stock solutions for mixing paints. An indigo vat will be available for over-dyeing the mordant dye colors to get deep purples, greens and browns.

Skills + Techniques

Students will learn:

  • Fiber preparation: scouring for cellulose and protein
  • Preparing skeins and warps for dyeing with proper tying
  • Mordanting with alum and iron
  • Making stock solutions from concentrated dye extracts
  • Using dye extracts in immersion baths and as thickened paints
  • Painting, or space dyeing, skeins and warps with different colors
  • Steaming the painted yarn to fix the dye
  • Using fresh and dried plant materials from the dye garden in immersion baths
  • Over-dyeing with indigo to achieve purples, greens and browns
  • Shifting colors by modifying ph and using iron post-baths


Sara Goodman

Tools + Materials

Students should bring:

  • All materials will be provided. Students may bring their own natural fiber yarn for dyeing, either on cones, in the form of skeins or as a wound warp
  • Please do not bring more than 1/2 lb. or 250 grams of your own yarn

Material Fee:

  • $50.00 includes yarn for samples, all dyes and assists, notebook of recipes and instructions paid at time of workshop


  • Please read our COVID-19 Policy prior to registering
  • We are honoring each instructor’s specific COVID-19 safety requests. For this workshop, your instructor reserves the right to require additional safety requirements depending on the state of the pandemic at the time of the workshop

Housing + Meals

Housing and meals will be available on-site in 2022. We will let all registered students know when housing registration is open. Spots will be first-come, first serve. The option to choose meals will be open to all students. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

$300.00 / per student

This Class


7097 Sanborn Road
Loudon, New Hampshire 03307

Call Us

(603) 435-7314


September 14 @ 9:00 am
September 16 @ 5:00 pm
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Sanborn Mills Farm
7097 Sanborn Road
Loudon, NH 03307 United States
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