FACTS to host natural dyeing classes in September - June 7, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston has finalized her next class through the Fashion Arts and Creative Textiles Studio (FACTS) program which will focus on natural dyeing.
The program will run Sept. 15 and 16 at the Blyth Lions Park pavilion and each day will focus on different aspects of natural dyeing.
On Saturday, the class will be focusing on the dye garden that Triemstra-Johnston has put outside her home, which is directly across the road from Blyth Lions Park.
“We’re going to focus on horticulture,” she said. “We will look at the different plants available and how to make a dye garden and what plants provide which colours.”
Triemstra-Johnston said the class will also allow experiments through dyeing with mordants, a substance used to set dyes on fabrics.
“We will learn to work with mordants and see what different colours they can produce when matched with natural dyes.”
Sunday will focus on discovering the natural dye pallette of Blyth.
“This will be a foraging class,” she said. “It’s very neat that every area has its own unique pallette of colours that can be found through natural dyeing processes.”
Triemstra-Johnston explained that plants in and around Blyth, including those on the Goderich-to-Guelph Rail Trail (G2G), will be the focus of the class.
“Blyth will have specific colours and they will be different from, say, Calgary that has different soil and a different climate,” she said.
Some of the plants that will provide unique colours include walnuts, elderberry and goldenrod, allowing for some interesting dyeing projects, according to Triemstra-Johnston.
Local restaurants will also be asked to provide food waste for the event, as Triemstra-Johnston said some great colours can be found there.
“Pieces of onions and carrot tops, for example, provide great dye colours,” she said.
The programs run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and registration is limited to 20 spots. Individuals can reserve a spot prior to registration by finding FACTS on Facebook or e-mailing Triemstra-Johnston at
Wool for the days will be provided by Steele Wool, a local wool farm near Blyth. Part II Bistro will be providing a picnic lunch.
The class is being made available through a co-investment between the FACTS program and Blyth Destination Development Partnership.