Natural Dyes: Creating a Plant-Based Palette With Aaron Sanders Head - Atlas Obscura Experiences
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Natural Dyes: Creating a Plant-Based Palette With Aaron Sanders Head

$235 per person Online Experience
4 sessions
Up to 12 people
See Dates
$235 per person
New York City, New York
What We’ll Do

In this four-part workshop, learn from textile artist Aaron Sanders Head how to turn kitchen scraps and foraged plants into natural dyes.

Course Description

Onion skins have a secret. They, like many kinds of plant matter, can be transformed into a palette of brilliant colors—dyes ranging from copper to deep mustard. In this four-part online course, we’ll learn how to create natural dyes using everything from kitchen scraps to foraged plants. We’ll begin with the basics, learning the tools and terms needed to get started before setting up a dye bath and diving into the process. Not only will we use food scraps, plant dye powders, and extracts to color textiles, but we’ll also learn how to forage for regional dyestuff, depending on your local ecology. By the end of this workshop, you’ll walk away with a palette of fabrics dyed using local plants or extracts and powders, as well as a repeatable method for creating color from the contents of your compost bin.

Syllabus at a Glance

There are four total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours on four Sundays beginning November 22 (skipping November 29).

Session 1 (Sunday, 11/22, 2–3:30 PM ET): The basics of dyeing + starting your natural dye ledger

Session 2 (Sunday, 12/6, 2–3:30 PM ET): Mordants + kitchen scrap dyes

Session 3 (Sunday, 12/13, 2–3:30 PM ET): Foraged plant matter dyes + building a dye bath?

Session 4 (Sunday, 12/20, 2–3:30 PM ET): Showcase + future projects

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 20 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed a time that works for you for up to one week after they’ve aired.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit

Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account.

About Your Instructor
Aaron Sanders Head
Aaron Sanders Head

Aaron Sanders Head is a Southern textile artist focused on natural dyes and hand-stitching. Aaron explores the intersections of practices of the past with contemporary craft, and the ways that sewing and textile arts can aid in increasing diversity and representation in the creative class. He is based in Greensboro, Alabama where he lives in an 1830s home with his partner, musician Tim Higgins, and two cats, Splenda and Turnip. He maintains an active studio practice and extensive dye garden used in his work.

What Else You Should Know

This is an interactive, small-group workshop that will take place live over multiple Zoom sessions. Students will be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.

Students will be assigned weekly craft assignments, such as mordanting your fabric, which should take no more than five hours per week.

Group Size

There are 12 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability
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