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The Natural Dye Studio

  • Maiwa East 1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver, BC, Canada (map)

With Charllotte Kwon & Sophena Kwon

$695 [Includes $150 lab fee] Class limit 16. Oct 16-20 (Wed-Sun) 10am-4pm.

Charllotte Kwon’s passionate study of natural dyeing techniques has led her to visit and work with traditional artisan cultures around the world.

In this expanded version of her popular workshop, Charllotte and daughter Sophena will teach a full study of natural dyes and then take this knowledge even further with a directed study component of dye technique. 

In this five-day workshop, students will be introduced to natural dyes and the cultures that use them. The class will gain an in-depth understanding of mordants and tannins and work with some of the most famous colourants in the world: from madder reds to cochineal and lac insect dyes to the intense browns, yellows, and golds obtained from petals, barks, leaves, and roots. 

A complete day is given over to indigo, perhaps the most magical and singular dyestuff. Students work with a variety of vats and explore the potential of shaped-resist techniques. 

The goal of this workshop is accomplished dyeing at a professional level. The workshop will move through the creation of more than 80 colour samples on a variety of fibres using both cloth and yarns. 

This is a practical workshop which requires lifting dyepots. As we like to put it: if you can get your suitcase on an international flight, you should be fine.

Charllotte also co-presents a lecture.

Supply List PDF

Charllotte Kwon is the owner of Maiwa Handprints Ltd. and the director of the Maiwa Foundation. Through Maiwa, Charllotte also runs a textile archive and research library located on Granville Island. Under her direction Maiwa has produced four documentary films and a number of print publications. She also guides Maiwa’s substantial web presence.

Charllotte travels extensively each year to research handcraft and to supplement her natural dye research. Always looking to extend natural dye use, she also teaches dyeing workshops with artisans around the world and has planned a series of natural dye master classes to bring exceptional practising artisans together.


Sophena Kwon grew up with Maiwa as the family business. She has learned much from the artisans Maiwa collaborates with (including master dyers in India, Africa, Peru, and Mexico) and from experimenting alongside her mom, Charllotte.

In 2009 Sophena studied with Michel Garcia in France. She has taught natural dye workshops with Charllotte (including at the Penland School of Craft and at Shakerag) since 2012 and developed and taught workshops for the Maiwa School of Textiles since 2014. In an effort to bring natural dyeing to a new audience, she founded the immensely successful Indigo Social in 2015. In 2016 Sophena was invited to present at the Mood Indigo Exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum.

In addition to her natural dye work, Sophena is a skilled photographer and clothing designer. Each year she travels to India to direct the Maiwa line of clothing.

Earlier Event: October 8
Later Event: October 16
Map Haiku