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Growing Color: Natural Dyes from Plants

November 5, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Event Details


November 5, 2016


9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Event Category:


Education Center

There is a growing demand for natural dyes for use in the textile, cosmetic and food industries. This conference is for professionals in the farming, herb and textile industries and anyone interested in the fascinating history and potential of natural plant-based dyes. The symposium is hosted by The North Carolina Arboretum in conjunction with Local Cloth with the purpose of bringing awareness about issues and opportunities in plant dyes in order to encourage a sustainable natural dye industry in western North Carolina. In addition to presentations, the symposium will feature vendors, demonstrations and exhibits.

Registration Fees

(includes lunch and snacks)

  • Early Bird Registration (before October 1): $60 Member / $65 Non-Member
  • Registration Fee (after October 1): $70 Member/$75 Non-Member

Click Here To Register


Anne de la Sayette – Growing Color: Natural Dyes from Plants

Anne de la Sayette is a French agro-engineer and graduated in economics. She created and led the Regional Center for Innovation and Technological Transfer in Horticulture (CRITT) where she initiated and managed a 15-year innovative project on natural dyes. This interdisciplinary approach has allowed the creation of a large plant collection, the development of cultivation processes and the production of plant colorant extracts and pigments on an industrial scale.  She is a recipient of the 2012 “Ordre National du Mérite” award.

Featured Speakers

Sarah Bellos – Small is Beautiful and the Middle is Meaningful: Scaling up Natural Colorants

Sarah Bellos is the founder of Stony Creek Colors in Goodlettsville, Tennessee. Developing natural dye has been Bellos’ focus since 2005 when she began operating a small-batch dye house in Nashville. Bellos managed a farm while attending Cornell University and her sister was an artist, which ultimately led to them to develop a business around their shared interests and filled smaller dye orders for designers. Seeing a need for greater production, she started to develop the Stony Creek Colors business in 2012. Stony Creek Colors currently contracts with 11 farmers to grow indigo and focuses on research and development, which she sees as imperative to developing a larger operation.

Ashely Case – Threats to Black Walnut and Butternut

Ashley Case received a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee where she worked with the tree improvement program under Dr. Scott E. Schlaubaum. Her research has focused mainly on the restoration of the American chestnut and on black walnut and butternut restoration.

Catharine Ellis – Introduction to Natural Dyes

Catharine Ellis has been a weaver and dyer for more than 40 years. After three decades of teaching in the fiber program at Haywood Community College, she is now dedicated to studio work, focusing on natural dye processes and teaching in both the United States and internationally. Recent projects include teaching natural dyeing in Guatemala through Mayan Hands. She is the author of “Woven Shibori” now in its second edition.