09) Natural Dyes (Basics)

This course introduces natural dyeing. Participants will learn how to prepare and dye a range of fibres using colours extracted from natural sources. These include kitchen scraps collected in Doha and plants found in the region. Participants will also explore textile design techniques traditionally used with natural dyes, e.g. painting, block printing and stenciling; the Japanese resist dyeing techniques of shibori and itajime; and bundle dyeing. Each participant will leave with a collection of naturally dyed pieces including a napkin set, a tea towel, and a large silk scarf, in addition to a dyer’s journal filled with samples of natural colours, and an instructional guide on how to repeat the process on their own at home or in their studio. This course requires no previous dyeing experience.

Class Outline

Week 1
Introduction to natural dyes. The essential tools in a dye studio. Getting started: Fiber 101, and corresponding
scouring and mordanting techniques. Preparing a dye bath. Starting a dyer’s journal.
Week 2
Botanical yellows. Modifiers and color shifts in the dye bath. Painting, mark making, and printing using natural colors.
Week 3
Yellows from bio waste. Tannins. Printing with mordants.
Week 4
Natural reds. Printing with reserve paste.
Week 5
Exploring the blues. Indigo. Direct printing.
Week 6
Shibori and itajime, Part 1. Basic folding patterns and knots techniques. Pattern making and color mixing.
Week 7
Shibori and itajime, Part 2. Advanced folding patterns and knot techniques. Pattern making and color mixing.
Week 8
Bundle dyeing. Future references in natural dyes.

Please note: VCUQatar reserves the right to cancel classes for which not enough participants are registered. Already paid fees will be refunded.

Please do not purchase materials until VCUQatar has sent final course confirmation.

Items to buy for this class

Dyer’s Journal (a notebook to document color recipes, add personal notes and keep samples

Rubber gloves


Collected dyed-material 

Fabric or yarn (for personal projects in addition to the samples and blanks provided with the training).

On occasions, there may be some more materials to be bought and brought in if and when advised by the instructor.

Where to buy your materials

Most of the materials are available from any art supply shop, for example:

  • Cass Art (Fire station): Community Classes students get a 15% discount upon presenting the registration ticket
  • Jarir Bookstore: on Rayyan Road or Salwa Road
  • Color Note: on Al Nasser Street
  • Ibn Al Qayyim: at Markhiya Roundabout
  • Al Rawnaq

Register & Pay »

Terms & Conditions apply

Participants must buy their own materials

Tue, 28 Jan, 2020
Tue, 17 Mar, 2020
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
QAR 1400


Paula Bouffard

Paula Bouffard is a textile designer and a natural dyer. She is the founder of Touche textile, a small studio that specializes in slow, artisanal, handcrafted textile practices in relation with nature, communities and design. Paula's journey into the world of shapes and colours follows a long academic career in the field of languages and linguistics.