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Natural Dyes: Vibrant Historical Hues

July 21 - 26, 2024

Natalie Stopka  ·  nataliestopka.com

Workshop Overview

Beautiful natural dyes have a long history in many cultures, during which time the craft and chemistry of color application have been honed. This course will focus on botanical and insect dyes renowned for their brilliant hues and permanence, including among others madder, indigo, and cochineal. Special attention will be paid to the chemistry and best practices of lightfastness, including fiber preparation and mordanting. This workshop will look at historical recipes for particularly prized shades and explore overdyeing for a wide spectrum. With appreciation for the ingenuity and skill of our artisan forebears, students will gain the understanding to extrapolate and experiment. Students will depart with a swatch library of samples, their own explorations, and the knowledge to confidently enjoy natural dyeing in their home studios. Open to all skill levels, beginners welcome.


  • Fiber selection and preparation
  • Mordants
  • Natural dyeing
  • Indigo


  • Class Materials List
  • Please note any materials you are expected to purchase prior to arrival in the attachment above
  • Estimated fees vary based on class size and materials used


  • Swatch library of 50+ dye samples
  • Color recipes
  • Knowledge to confidently dye and experiment



Fees exclude housing and meal plans. Review housing options here.

Artist Bio

Natalie Stopka is a Yonkers, New York based interdisciplinary artist and educator focused on historical techniques that interface with natural materials. Her printmaking and textile arts incorporate botanical dyes and natural pigments that are cultivated in her studio garden and ethically foraged. Raised on the south coast of Massachusetts, she earned a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and MFA from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Natalie was a 2011–12 Van Lier/Stein Family Scholar for Advanced Studies at Center for Book Arts, and 2018 Maker Space Resident at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery. She teaches at Aya Fiber Studio, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Botanical Colors, Penland, Peters Valley School of Craft, Surface Design Association, Textile Arts Center, and Women’s Studio Workshop. Natalie has also been a guest instructor at the American Folk Art Museum, Cooper Hewitt, and Wave Hill.

  • Natalie Stopka
  • Natalie Stopka
  • Natalie Stopka
  • Natalie Stopka
  • Natalie Stopka


In order to complete your registration, a $300 deposit is required.

Call 865-436-5860 with questions about registering for this workshop.

ART WORKSTENNESSEE ARTS COMMISIONTENNESSEE FOR THE ARTSTennessee Specialty License PlatesEAST TENNESSEE FOUNDATIONWindgate Foundation Arrowmont is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.

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