Learn how to hand-dye your own fabrics, decorative fibers and threads
to achieve uncommon and unique results
using Procion MX fiber reactive cold water dyes
(for natural and cellulose fibers such as cotton, rayon, linen, hemp and silk)
One of my goals for teaching this class is to encourage you to develop color wheels, dye recipes and color palettes that are unique to you and totally different from what everyone else is doing. Being different is what will make your hand-dyed fabric and fibers stand out from everyone elses.
… Linda Matthews
I’ve been hand-dyeing my own fabrics, decorative fibers and threads for over 30 years and during those years I’ve invested an inordinate amount of time experimenting with color mixing and dyeing techniques (in a mad scientist sort of way) to create unique colorways and unusual texture patterns, and also use to create unique collections of fabrics, decorative fibers and threads that would coordinate together without looking too much the same.
Eventually I developed a technique that I call “Assemblage Hand-Dyeing” and I used this technique to build a successful business selling my hand-dyed fabrics and fibers. I retired my hand-dyed business in 2016 so I could spend more time teaching, and now I get to share with you everything I know about creating beautiful and unique hand-dyed fabrics and fibers.
So what is assemblage hand-dyeing?
An assemblage means a group of things gathered or collected; an assembly; a collection.
It’s also the perfect word to describe the way that I love to hand-dye, using a collection of different fabrics, decorative fibers and threads that are hand-dyed using the same colorway, but with unexpected and uncommon results every time.
Assemblage hand-dyeing is the perfect way to create unique fabric and decorative fiber collections that can be used in all your textile art and sewing projects.
All the resulting colors within the collection will be similar, but not quite the same, resulting in different tones and shades and different texture patterns. Your finished sewing project will have an overall cohesive look through color and texture, without everything looking the same.
This is Not Your Usual Hand-Dyeing Class
In this class you’ll learn how to hand-dye in order to discover perfection within imperfection.
Hand-dyeing is not an exact science. The results are variable depending on lots of things – type of water, water temperature, atmospheric temperature, types of fabrics and fibers, dyelots. It is quite a bit of work to be able to replicate a color precisely from one dye bath to the next, and from one fabric type to another.
At one point in time I tried to do exactly this and discovered that dyeing became more about science than it did about being creative and making artful fabric. It was stressful and it was not fun.
So I stopped trying to dye for perfect results, and instead began to apply the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi to my hand-dyed fabrics and fibers. Instead of aiming for perfection, I began instead to look for the beauty that resulted from the imperfect process of hand-dyeing.
When I started to look at my hand-dyed fabrics in a new and different way, what happened was that the fabric became almost magical.
Where before I would see nothing but flaws, weird shapes, and unusual textures, now I could see that every piece of fabric was a unique and never-to-be-repeated piece of hand-dyed art.
And best of all – hand-dyeing became fun and easy!
In this workshop you’ll learn to dye fabrics, threads and decorative fibers that are perfectly imperfect.
You’ll be exploring techniques for creating hand-dyes that explode with impact in both texture and color. You’ll make coordinated collections of fabric, thread and decorative fibers using my “Assemblage Hand-Dyeing” techniques, as well as individual pieces that can be hand-dyed to coordinate.
You’ll make hand-dyes that are so beautiful and unique, you’ll have a hard time cutting them up.
What’s in Store
The Assemblage Hand-Dyeing Workshop will take you on a comprehensive exploration of the hand-dyeing techniques I have used over the last 30 years to create beautiful and unique hand-dyed fabrics, threads and decorative fibers. I use these fabrics and fibers in my own textile art, and I also sold them as part of my hand-dyeing business which I retired at the end of 2016.
Included in this workshop is over 4 hours of video viewing plus additional information, templates, and dye recipes, as well as the Assemblage Hand-Dyeing eBook – a 121 page pdf ebook that you can download for offline reference.
You’ll begin the workshop by exploring the basics of color theory and color wheel dyeing. This information provides the groundwork that you’ll need for learning how to create all the colors under the sun using only three or four dyes. You’ll also discover how to make shades, tints and tones, as well as gradations (dark to light shades), color runs (blending two or more colors), and also overdyeing which is handy for giving do-overs to “ugly duckling” fabric as well as creating entirely new color combinations.
Once the groundwork is done, you can then dig deep into Assemblage Hand-Dyeing and explore all the different techniques for creating unique hand-dyed collections of fabric, thread and decorative fiber. Assemblage Hand-Dyeing is extremely flexible and can be combined with other hand-dyeing techniques such as low water immersion, parfait dyeing, microwave, shibori and tie-dye, tray dyeing, overdyeing, ice and faux snow or real snow depending where you live plus my own specialty techniques – no water immersion and fabric cocktail dyeing.
I have a great love of nature and am inspired by it every single day so I love to create nature-inspired colors. In this section of the workshop I’ll share easy techniques for creating nature-inspired colors as well as experimental processes for hand-dyeing fabrics, threads and fibers in the colors of nature.
Fabric Cocktails that is!
Learn how to create Assemblage-style hand-dyes plus coordinating single-color fabrics.
I’ll be sharing my secrets for dyeing “sticks and stones” to get brilliant and saturated color
Yes there’s a trick to dyeing silk carrier rods and cocoons, and it’s easier than you think.
I’ll even be sharing some of my favorite dye recipes
And I’ll also teach you how much fun it is to develop your own.
Not Much Space for Dyeing?
I’ll show my portable dye studio and how I ran a business out of my small kitchen for years. Yes it can be done safely.
Is this Workshop For You?
This workshop is suitable for confident beginners, as well as experienced hand-dyers who are looking for additional creative techniques to add to their hand-dyeing toolbox.
The Assemblage Hand-Dyeing Workshop is a comprehensive workshop that will teach you how to create beautiful and unique hand-dyed collections of fabrics, fibers and threads using my personal hand-dyeing method of “Assemblage Hand-Dyeing”. The lessons include a variety of low water immersion hand-dyeing techniques designed to produce rich visual texture and color variations, as well as random and unexpected patterns.
You can download the Supply List Overview for a brief overview of supplies. A complete supply list will be available after registration and includes links to my favorite suppliers for dyes, fabrics and fibers, as well as the dye codes and corresponding product numbers for the following dye suppliers:
US – DharmaTrading, Prochemical & Dye
Canada – G & S Dye and Accessories
UK – Kemtex
Australia & New Zealand – Kraftkolour, Dyeman
Live in a Cold Climate?
Using Procion MX dyes you can easily hand-dye indoors and get amazing results so long as you have a minimum room temperature of at least 70 degrees F (21 C) or can find a hotspot such as a space heater or fireplace that provides the minimum temperature and is a place where you can leave your fabrics to batch for at least 3 hours.
- Getting Started
Overview of supplies, color theory, color wheel dyeing
Learn how to create your own personalized color wheel
- Playing with Color
Learn how to use your fabric dyeing color wheel as you begin to explore the relationship of colors and how they can be mixed and blended to create amazing colors for your fabric.
- Dyeing Techniques for Thread and Other Fabric Embellishments
Thread, Ribbon, Lace, Decorative Fibers, Cord, Silk Cocoons & Carrier Rods
- Assemblage Dyeing Techniques
Low Water Immersion, No Water Immersion
Ice & Snow/Faux Snow Dyeing
Shibori/Tie Dye Dyeing
- Bonus: Acid Dyeing using Procion MX cold water dyes (for silk and wool)
Did you know that Procion MX cold water dyes can also be used as an acid dye?
Although traditional acid dyes are best suited for dyeing wool, both silk and wool can be dyed quite successfully using Procion MX cold water dyes. In this bonus lesson I’ll show you how. (Microwave + steamer or stove-top steamer required)
If committing to such a comprehensive workshop is a little intimidating, included in the workshop is a Quick-Start Option which allows you to get started using only four dyes. Students have life-time access to the workshop materials, so you can work through the lessons at your own pace and purchase additional supplies over time as needed. The Quick-Start Guide makes the workshop a little less intimidating for beginners, and a more affordable way to get started with Assemblage Hand-Dyeing.
You can see some of the amazing hand-dyed fabrics my students are producing right here on my website.
What my students are saying
Linda! Thank you so much! I think I told you this already, but I LOVED the class and am so happy for everything I learned from you!
You are a wonderful teacher and so very organized. Thanks again!
The beauty of this course is you can dye a little or a lot and only spend a small amount of time if you have it to set it up to get a great result.
Thank you for an extremely educational and enjoyable course. I have been playing at dyeing fabric for many, many years but have never taken the time to seriously sit down and look at colours and how they work together. You gave me a structured approach, a whole whack of information and the invitation to play, push the boundaries and explore, which I normally do anyhow but it was great to see you invite people to do it.
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