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Adult Opportunities

Natural Dyes Workshop: Layering with Blues and Yellows (in person)

Dye a scarf using natural blues, yellows, and greens.

Content Detail

Learn to create a striking range of blue, yellow, and green by layering indigo and marigold on silk in this hands-on natural dyes workshop at The Morton Arboretum. 

In this class, you will learn

  • about the indigo plant,
  • the process of making a vat and vat maintenance,
  • methods of dye extraction, and
  • how to grow, harvest, and make a dye bath using marigold flowers.  

Explore examples of historical and contemporary artworks, including shibori. Experiment on silk swatches, practicing techniques to produce different colors and looks. Then use your new understanding to dye a silk scarf to take home with you. Enjoy this chance to experiment with color using natural dyes. Dye supplies are provided. 

This program meets in person at the Arboretum.

Instructor: Rachel Davis

Health and Safety: Program participants must abide by the Arboretum’s health and safety guidelines. Guidelines are subject to change, so please check back frequently. 

Age: 16 and older


Rachel Davis, artist

Rachel Davis received her BA from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and her MFA in printmaking from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her work has been exhibited in national venues including the Holter Museum of Fine Art in Helena, Montana; Evergreen Galleries in Olympia, Washington; and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters in Madison, Wisconsin. She completed a year-long artist-in-residence at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago in 2018 and an artist-in-residence at the DuPage Children’s Museum in 2019. Currently, she teaches natural dye techniques in the textiles department at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago.

What to Know

This program meets outdoors, weather permitting.

Bring an apron or dress ready for a mess.

Bring rubber dish gloves that go past your wrist, and a notebook and pen.


Program Schedule

Saturday, May 13, 2023, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Thornhill Picnic Shelter, Parking Lot 21


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