Sunday, June 1 & Saturday, June 2, 2024

Natural Dye Workshop

Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival ~ Toronto ONT/Canada

>> Workshop Participants Pop-Up Group Art Show <<

A Pop-Up Group Art Show >> Honoring Our Homelands & Our Coming Together On The Land Of Hiawatha.  All workshop participants are encouraged to bring four materials from the land of their choice. These four materials need to be capable of creating color or visual texture on wool fibers.  Examples include hulls of nuts, seeds or berries, wildflowers, clays, ocean vegetation, sticks, leaves, lichens, and anything else that calls out to you.  These four materials should represent the four directions for you.  After the workshop, these items will become Give-A-Way to a new place (SITE/ation).
NOTE >> Participating in Indigenous Land-Based Ceremonies Is Optional

How to Dye Wool Using Natural Dyes
IFA Hands-On Workshop
Algonquin Eastern Woodlands Blanket
Seminole Bandolier Bag & Wool Yarn

Learning how to dye wool using natural dyes resets & awakens an awareness of the natural colors of the land and space around us and beneath our feet. The idea is to wake up our indigenous ancestral abilities to be foragers.  This will help us center ourselves on a specific land place on Turtle Island, and to become an expert on the flora specific to that geographical location. (**Tag land with what3words) The learning objective is to learn to use whatever the land provides.  This is how we heal ourselves by our own hands as indigenous circles of creative energies.

Facilitator: Indigenous Teaching Artist ~ Carola Jones
NC Toisnot Skaru:re | FL Seminole | Johns Island, SC Geechee | New Orleans Treme Creole

This is a two-day workshop that shares indigenous natural dye knowledge about expressing one's culture using wool. The content provides basic techniques that can be applied to dyeing wool yarns and fabrics as a source of sustainable entrepreneurship for indigenous women. NOTE: Workshop projects can NOT be completed in two days. This workshop will continue online for the next 13 Moons. Pre-Registration Required

The goals of this workshop are to provide a space for indigenous learning, teaching, sharing, and healing by reconnecting with sustainable land-based practices in a nurturing intertribal community. Participants will have hands-on help over the next year to complete workshop projects. Come learn the process during the two-day workshop, and complete projects at your home studio.

Color Values Possible Using Madder

Sage Paul Cardinal Teachings

Parts of Section Below are Under Construction



Creating With Purpose

Wearing Culture Every Day


Intertribal Sharing




Workshop Projects

NOTE: IFA Registered Participants Can Join A Free Online Community Group To Complete All Projects Presented In This Workshop | Workshop Content Archived as IFA Digital & On-Demand Learning

Workshop Fashion Project is an Algonquin Eastern Woodlands Wool Blanket Hand-Dyed in Madder (Rubia cordifolia) | Blanket Size = *WOF by 2 meters (Blanket will need to wrap around your body so that additional yardage may be required) >> Dyed wool yarn will be created to edge and embellish the blanket with hand embroidery using indigo, pomegranate, turmeric and marigolds.  Participants can provide beads or ribbon applique to decorate their blankets with individual tribal iconography. *WOF = Width Of Fabric

Eastern Woodlands Wool Blanket Hand-Dyed With Madder (Rubia cordifolia)

Image on left:  "Binding Up The Blues" is a textiles "survivance" strategy practiced by indigenous Needle or  Women who held onto small batch natural dyeing techniques as medicine on the Sea Islands near the port of Charleston. | Supplies Need to Bind Up The Blues >> Either artificial sinew, cotton sinew or hemp twine, an optional sinew puller for tight binding, wooden or metal clothespins, clamps, items to embed in bundle from the land (Spanish Moss represents air, seashells, sea oats, seaweed or algae from the ocean).

Images of Algonquin Wool Blankets Created In Other Workshops

All the wool is the same. The value differences are due to the land and the water. The first two images on the left were created on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Syilx people on the Okanagan at the University of British Columbia as part of the Indigenous Art Intensive. The two images on the right end were created on the ancestral homeland of the Nottoway Indian Tribe of Virginia.

Seminole Wool Bandolier Bag
Individual Choice Between Indigo or Pomegranate

Learn to Make a Wool Seminole Bandolier Bag.  This project is a bonus, where we dye wool in indigo or pomegranate, neither of which requires a mordant.  The experience of using these dyes is another tool to dye wool on your natural dye journey.  Our goal in the project is to create a solid color blue or brown that we can embellish with embroidery and beads.  A detailed guided demonstration of hand sewing will be provided, along with a needle.  We will meet online in a dedicated space on an educational platform, and finish all workshop projects as a community.  The bag can be embellished with iconography from your tribal communities.  Finished examples will be explained. ***NOTE: To complete this project bring an extra meter of wool fabric.

Florida Ethnographic Collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History

Left: Bandolier bag, Seminole, wool yarn, wool, brass, glass beads, ca. 1830s-1840s, 25.0” long, 17.0” wide (E-598). Bottom: Detail of Strap from Wandering Bull Website.

Dyed Wool Yarn
Madder 1(Maiwa) / 2(Dharma) ~ Indigo ~ Pomegranate ~ Turmeric ~ Marigold

Participants will learn how to dye wool yarn using madder, marigold, and turmeric, which need a mordant.  We will experience dyeing wool yarn in indigo and pomegranate that do NOT require a mordant. Detailed demonstration will be shared.  We will work online as a community to complete all projects after the workshop.

Dyeing wool yarn can be a sustainable business model for an individual or an indigenous community. Some of the variations in values shown above happened because I used different types of wool: 1) Merino (white) | 2) Corriedale (brown) | 3) Shetland (cream) | 4) Hebridean (warm black)

Dyeing Wool Recipe & Sample Book

>> Click Here 2 Download Workbook Pages After May 25th<< 

Wool Samples Provided In Person at Workshop