Back to All Events

Natural Dyeing with Barbara Wheeler

  • Canberra Environment Centre Cnr Lennox Crossing and Lawson Crossing Acton 2601 (map)

Join local textile artist and maker Barbara Wheeler of Every Thread Counts for a 6-hour intensive workshop about preparing natural plant dyes and creating naturally printed fabrics. You will:

  • Learn about the characteristics of different natural fibres, preparing fabric for dyeing and selecting plants that will give colour to cloth;

  • Make dyes out of edible plants such as walnut, onion and carrot and enjoy a delicious lunch prepared from the ingredients dyes are made out of;

  • Learn about how mordants are used to alter natural dyes and how to prepare them;

  • Make silk string and create a botanical print out of native plants on an Australian merino wool scarf using a hot bundling method;

  • Practice printing techniques, e.g. shibori; and

  • Learn about steaming flowers for colour and making dyes out of flowers.

At the end of this workshop you will have the skills to set up your own natural dyeing practice and walk away with a beautiful lightweight merino wool scarf featuring a unique print you’ve created out of native plants. This versatile scarf can be used as a sun barrier and to keep you warm, perfect for all seasons!  

This workshop includes lunch (made with ingredients used to make dyes), tea/coffee, workshop notes, fabric samples featuring shibori prints, silk string and a lightweight Australian merino wool scarf (2200 x 50mm)

It’s a messy workshop so wear old clothes or an apron, covered shoes. There will be notes provided, but a notebook and pen are always handy. Bring a container to take your wet fabric home in.

About Barbara Wheeler

Barbara Wheeler.JPG

Barbara Wheeler is a Canberra-based sustainable fashion designer with her own label, Every Thread Counts. Barbara uses natural fibres that have a traceable supply chain and recycles/upcycles natural-fibre fabrics for accessories. She gathers windfall leaves from the slopes of Mount Majura and visits big old trees that are ancient which give colour to fabric used in her practice. Every piece Barbara makes is a story about place; it is sustainable, ethical and fun. Barb also teaches natural dyeing techniques across Canberra with the aim of sharing how easy it is to make things in the most sustainable ways and changing the way we think about making and using clothes.


Refund Policy: Please kindly note that tickets are non-refundable and cannot be transferred to other workshops, however you are welcome to pass your ticket on to another person. 


Earlier Event: 6 October
Cooking with Edible Natives
Later Event: 16 October
Organic Garden Preparations