The Art and Science of Natural Dyes by Joy Boutrup and Catharine Ellis


5 in stock


This long-awaited guide serves as a tool to explain the general principles of natural dyeing, and to help dyers to become more accomplished at their craft through an increased understanding of the process.

Photos of more than 450 samples demonstrate the results of actual dye tests, and detailed information covers every aspect of natural dyeing including theory, fibers, mordants, dyes, printing, organic indigo vats, finishing, and the evaluation of dye fastness.

Special techniques of printing and discharging indigo are featured as well.

The book is intended for dyers and printers who wish to more completely understand the “why” and the “how,” while ensuring safe and sustainable practices. Written by a textile engineer and chemist (Boutrup) and a textile artist and practitioner (Ellis), its detailed and tested recipes for every process, including charts and comparisons, make it the ideal resource for dyers with all levels of experience.

Debbie says: “This excellent book deftly takes the aspiring natural dyer from their very first dyebath right through to understanding the chemistry of natural dyes. What I particularly like is that Boutrup and Ellis dig into the science of natural dyeing but in a way that will appeal and make sense to the creative person who doesn’t have a degree in chemistry but wants to understand more. The recipes and illustrations are great and the spiral binding makes it a really practical, hands-on book. It will definitely spend more time on your dye table than your bookshelf. If it isn’t covered in dyespots with the pages half-gummed together within a month I’d be very surprised!’

If you are looking for a natural dye kit to put your learning into practice our Nature’s Rainbow natural dye kit is a great choice. Alternatively our Natural Dye Deluxe and Natural Dye Starter kit will give you an excellent set to experiment with. If you’re a more experienced dyer, our natural dye extracts and Botanical Colors liquid extracts, indigo, mordants and modifiers can all be bought separately too.

Additional information

Weight 400 g

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