Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe

Sasha Duerr. Watson-Guptill, $30 (272p) ISBN 978-1-60774-936-3
Duerr, a professor at California College of the Arts as well as a designer known for her work with organic dyes, shares tips for mixing pigments to produce “plant-based palettes” for clothing and home textiles. Duerr teaches dye projects—hat, blanket, curtain, bag—organized by season, as knowing what plants are in season matters when one is foraging from the wild. Spring produces avocado pit pillows. Summer’s palette includes oxalis, nettles, and roses; fall presents a madder-dyed scarf. Winter’s red cabbage dyes baby mittens. Duerr likens producing dyes from natural color to cooking: both involve finding just the right ingredients, fiddling around, and having good timing. She warns that setting up a studio for dyeing requires attention to safety, as the process involves high heat and irritants from plants and mordants (fixers). Along the way, Duerr persuasively advocates for buying clothing made by local artisans using sustainable methods. She is at the forefront of the “slow fashion” movement, from which readers can expect to see many future books. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 04/18/2016
Release date: 08/23/2016
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