Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Natural Dye Basics: Mordant Dyes on Cloth

May 12 @ 9:00 am - May 14 @ 5:00 pm


Natural Dye Basics: Mordant Dyes on Cloth

Sara Goodman

Thursday, May 12th – Saturday, May 14th

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.

In this workshop, students will learn how to properly mordant cloth in order to ensure good dye results and how to create a wide range of colors with natural dyes through the application of mordants on cloth. Students will first learn proper fiber preparation to ensure good dye results, including the difference treatments for plant and animal fibers. Then, students will learn the process of mordanting. For some reason, this intimidates people, but it shouldn’t—students will learn that the key is to know the range of mordant options and pair your chosen method with how you will apply the dye. This workshop will use only two mordants: alum and iron. Other metals can be used mordants, but they can be unsafe and there are more sustainable options to create a full range of color. Students will explore mordants applied in hot and cold immersion baths, mordants thickened and used for printing, and mordants discharged with a citric acid solution for interesting effects. Then, students will dye using three dye souces: fresh dye plant materials (due to the time of year of the workshop), dried flowers from the previous summer’s harvest, and different concentrated extracts. Students will use these dyes in immersion baths and as thickened pastes for printing and painting. An indigo vat will be available for over-dyeing. Finishing techniques for steaming and cleaning will end the class.


Skills + Techniques

Students will learn:

  • Fiber preparation: scouring for cellulose and protein
  • Mordanting in hot and cold immersion baths with alum and iron
  • Printing on cloth with thickened mordants
  • Using concentrated dye extracts in immersion baths and as thickened paints
  • Using fresh and dried plant materials from the garden and forest
  • Making samples of dye colors on different fibers for record keeping
  • Discharging mordants


Sara Goodman

Tools + Materials

Students should bring:

  • All materials will be provided

Material Fee:

  • $50.00 includes fabric 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


May 12 @ 9:00 am
May 14 @ 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
, , , ,
Event Tags:


Sanborn Mills Farm
7097 Sanborn Road
Loudon, NH 03307 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website