Natural Dye Workshop with Samorn Sanixay

Natural dye workshop with Samorn Sanixay

Presented by Adelaide Sustainability Centre & Soul Strong Society

2 day workshop

We will begin the class with a walkabout in the Adelaide Sustainability Centre community garden to forage, gather and learn about the history of this beautiful ancient tradition. Learn about local native plants, berries and flowers, their dyeing properties, how we extract the colour and methods used to obtain different shades of pigments.

You will receive a peace silk/merino hand woven scarf, an Organic Rami (a fabric made from Baby Nettle) Cushion Cover, and Calico Tote to dye and take away as your very own creation! *Ready-dyed cushion covers retail for $120.

You will also get to take home all dyes you make in class – for further fun at home!

In this hands-on beginners course you will explore a variety of natural hand dyeing and colour application techniques and create your own fabulous colours on silk fabric using natural methods and materials.

Ideal for

This workshop is suitable for both beginners and experienced dyers, no previous design or printing experience required.

Course content

During this Natural Dye Workshop the intention is that the following topics will be covered, but not necessarily in the order given. Due to the variable nature of each workshop, parts of the curriculum may be adapted to suit the needs of the class.

  • Appreciate the many sources and properties of natural materials to create dyes
  • Preparation and use of natural dyes
  • Learn how to create different dyeing effects
  • Learn some basic eco printing techniques and effects
  • Learn some basic compost dyeing techniques and effects

About your tutor


Samorn Sanixay was born in Laos and the co-founder of Eastern Weft, a weaving cooperative based in Vientiane. Laos. She arrived as a refugee in Australia with her family when she was only 3 years old. Samorn graduated from Griffith University with a B. Arts in Modern Asian Studies (majoring in Political Science) and has Diploma in Japanese language. With almost has almost 15 years experience in sustainable textile manufacturing, Samorn loves to share her knowledge and ignite passion for sustainable craft and textile production!

“Sustainability and Zero Waste is very much a natural part of what we do. We focus on connecting with nature, with the land. As with most indigenous cultures we work together with the land and build up a knowledge base on which plants can be eaten, used for medicinal purposes and as a source of colour for painting or natural dyes (incl. dirt and minerals), or to build houses.

We’d like people to think about where and how their textiles are made, sourced etc. to be more thoughtful and mindful, they can help change the world even it if is on a small scale.

We want to connect people with one another and also with the environment. Everything starts and ends with nature. In our highly developed societies, I feel we are very disconnected. We’ve lost the knowledge of how things are made, the skills involved, the materials we use, and every human being involved in the process. Once you start asking questions, the answers are even more fascinating. It’s a journey of finding and exploring the process of going back to nature and moving forward.”

Materials provided

  • 1 x Peace Merino/Silk handwoven scarf
  • 1 x hand-woven Organic Rami (a fabric made from Baby Nettle) Cushion Cover
  • 1 Calico Tote
  • Seasonal, natural materials (berries, flowers & plants) and equipment needed

Please bring to class

  • 2 x small garments to dye (apart from your scarf)... NATURAL FABRICS ONLY!
  • 4-5 empty jars to take home your dyes
  • Your own local berries, foodscraps or flowers you wish to use for dyeing
  • An old shirt or apron to wear while dyeing

Other information

  • Please wear closed-in shoes and old clothes
  • All dyeing materials are natural and non-toxic – but may cause allergies. Please contact us to discuss if you are allergic to any plants, flowers, vegetables or berries


Feedback from past students

"Samorn was so lovely, inspiring, down-to-earth and supportive in helping guide us through the natural dying process. I loved that it was a small group too because if felt like we all got plenty of attention from
her. She also shared alot about her personal journey into dying, which was very inspiring to hear."

"It was so much fun. Samorn is such a wonderful, thoughtful teacher, and playing with plants with a group of fellow nature lovers made for a wonderful inspiring day."

"She was knowledgeable and extremely helpful...This was exactly what I was looking for in terms of the topic."

Workshop Details

2 day workshop: Saturday 12 August, 10 am - 4 pm and Sunday 13 August, 10 am - 4 pm.

BYO lunch and snacks. Tea/coffee/water provided.


Soul Strong Society is a community arts and health initiative connecting people with nature through mindfulness, movement, and creativity.

The Adelaide Sustainability Centre is supported by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Board and Conservation SA.

August 12, 2017 at 10:00am - 6pm
The Joinery
111 Franklin St
Adelaide, SA 5000
Google map and directions
Adelaide Sustainability Centre · · (08) 7123 2166
$300.00 AUD · Purchase tickets

Copyright © 2021 Conservation SA. All rights reserved.

Ngadlu Kaurna miyurna tampinthi. Parna yarta mathanya puki-unangku. 
We acknowledge that The Joinery sits on Kaurna land.
We offer our respect to the Traditional Owners whose lands and waters we engage with across South Australia.

Contact us at the Joinery at 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide, on (08) 8223 5155 or [email protected]

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