Sashiko Thread and Japanese Dyes

Fiber Arts

Sashiko Thread and Japanese Dyes

Dye a full set of Sashiko skeins with traditional Japanese natural dyes for your own creative stitching work.

Meeting Times
  1. Sat, 3/23/2024 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  2. Sun, 3/24/2024 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sat, 3/23/2024 - Sun, 3/24/2024


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Class, No Prerequisite

Fiber Arts Studio

Dyeing, Surface Design


Join Kathy Hattori of Botanical Colors as she takes us into the fascinating world of natural dyes from around the globe!
You'll work with Sashiko thread and take away a unique collection of skeins for your projects, as well as project notes to guide you in your future work.

We'll create a custom palette of traditional Japanese dyes on top quality, 100% cotton Sashiko threads. Sashiko is a type of stitching traditionally used in Japan to mend, protect, reinforce, and decorate humble indigo clothing. You'll experiment with indigo, persimmon tannin (Kakishibu), sawtooth oak, sappanwood, gardenia, mugwort, and more, to create harmonious colors that can be used with a variety of other fibers, too.

You'll also explore mordanting, preparing raw dyestuffs, indigo dipping, and record keeping. You'll leave the class with a full set of Sashiko skeins for your own creative stitching work, including one of each color that we dyed together, as well as a set of notes on how to prepare and use the dyestuffs covered in this class.


  • All skill levels are welcome. No natural dye experience required.
  • Botanical Colors will have a pop-up with additional fabrics and supplies for shopping during the class.
  • Bring a bag lunch. A refrigerator and microwave are available on the lower level.


  • A $75 materials fee, included in the cost of the workshop, covers 8-10 imported Japanese natural dyes, 8-10 skeins of imported Shashiko thread (20/4 weight) and the scour, mordant, and other materials needed for the dyeing process.
  • You need to bring rubber gloves, an apron, and an N-95 or equivalent mask (for fine particles and measuring mordant).

Class Policies

  • Ages 14 and up are welcome.
  • Wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes, and clothes that can get messy.

BARN Policies

Instructors or Guides

Katherine Hattori

Kathy is a recognized authority on natural dyes, pigments, and commercial applications of natural dyes and has worked in the field since 2003. She developed numerous commercial processes using natural dye extracts in the industrial textile environment. She consults and advises brands and retailers on their natural dye implementation strategies and has worked with the largest natural dye houses in the US. Her experience includes creating a natural dye program for the largest organically certified tannery in Europe, presenting papers at international textile conferences, and supporting clients such as Eileen Fisher and other sustainable brands. Kathy teaches and lectures about natural dyes and is sought after as a speaker about the status of natural dyes in global textile production.

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