Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn Grows Natural Dye Plants to Inspire Artists

The Textile Arts Center, located in Brooklyn, NY, provides support for fiber professionals as well as a creative meeting place for people of all ages interested in art. The TAC also holds classes in textile related disciplines such as weaving, embroidery, or natural dye processes.

Few people are aware of the many natural sources of beautiful dyes nor the multitude of colors that can be achieved. The TAC’s Sewing Seeds project started in 2010 with the mission of providing accessible, accurate, and inspired information on natural dyes to their community. Sewing Seeds’ goal is to narrow the gap between the desire for and access to knowledge and materials regarding natural dyes, through building Natural Dyes Living Libraries in public spaces – such as community gardens – to be used freely for education and research, connecting individuals who are interested in natural dyes and laying the groundwork for the local production of natural plant dyes and naturally-dyed yarns.

Sewing Seeds started a collaboration with the community garden in 2010 and began proudly using Brooklyn-grown dyes in their workshops and classes. In 2011, the community garden became the home of TAC’s first Natural Dyes Living Library, a collection of dye plants used as a reference and teaching tool. The Living Library included indigo, safflower, lady’s bedstraw and marigold. Each dye plant was individually labeled with the plant’s common and scientific names and the colors it produces.

Natural Dye Garden

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One of out newest collections, Natural Palette, was inspired by natural dyed fibers created by Savannah College of Art and Design students. This collection explores the color ranges created when dyeing fiber. The Shaw Contract Group design team experimented with different fiber types to create a natural and hand woven effect. This exploration led them to discover a range of textual nuances, delicate lusters and heavy gauge matte filaments.

Photos: Textile Arts Center, TrendTablet

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