Thursday, January 29, 2015

I had the rare opportunity to dye the most amazing fiber today! It’s not cotton. It’s not silk. It’s vicuña.

Vicuña is the rarest and finest hair fiber available in the world and these animals live only in the upper altitudes of the Andes Mountains. In ancient times the Inca valued vicuñas for their wool, and believed the animal was the reincarnation of a beautiful young maiden who received a coat of pure gold. Only royalty was allowed to wear this precious fiber.”-Windy Valley

My new friend Katherine is from Bolivia and was able to buy some with the permission of the Bolivian government as she is doing a master’s thesis on this remarkable fiber.

“Each year, only 13,000 to 17,500 pounds of vicuña become available.....The Italian tailoring house Kiton makes only about 100 vicuña pieces a year; an off-the-rack sport coat costs at least $21,000, while the price of a made-to-measure suit starts at $40,000. A single vicuña scarf from Loro Piana is about $4,000. Ermenegildo Zegna produces just 30 vicuña suits a year. Each is numbered, and the most affordable model goes for $46,500.”

It dyed beautifully with both natural and acid dyes.

It was a great day at Fabric Designs!

Thank you, Katherine for introducing me to this glorious wool.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ombre Dyed Evening Dress

I am pleased to post this stunning evening gown made from my ombre dyed silk chiffon.  You can own it today by clicking on this link:

My friend Mikie Spencer is herself a "Perfect Pear" and is designing dresses for those of you with similar shapes. 

Look gorgeous and feel fantastic in 100% silk chiffon. 

Do you love this dress? Make it yours! I loved dyeing this fabric for her brand new company.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Saving Butterflys

I will post dyeing stuff soon but in the meantime, look at this other blog that is following our attempts at saving a monarch butterfly:

Happy New Year, everyone! Dye on and dye hard.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Basics- Check The Kind of Cotton You Are Using

Let's go back to the basics. Are your dye results coming out pale, faded, or funky?  Watch this YouTube video and see if this helps.

Cotton fabric on the left- Fabric Designs' muslin

On the right- bleached white cotton from JoAnn's. Both sets were dyed in the same dye bath.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hand Dyed Diapers!

I recently had an order to hand dye 100% organic cotton diapers. How cute these would be on baby behinds but no....they are intended as gifts to be used as lovely dish towels!  Isn't that a great idea?

The first set were dyed medium lime green. I dyed some solid and some mottled.

Here are the others- Bright Orange, solid and mottled, and Bright Raspberry- also solid and some mottled.

Look at the beautiful and simple wrapping job she did as well-

Great gift idea, don't you agree?

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Over the past 40+ years of dyeing fabric, I have picked up a few pointers that I would like to share with you:

1) If you insist on wearing your favorite clothes into a space that contains fabric dye, it is guaranteed that they will get dye on them before you leave that space.

2) Never trust an open jar of Fuchsia powdered MX dye. EVER.

3) Very few people like the color orange, but the ones who do are fanatical about it.

4) If you have to chose between a workspace that is topped with plastic or glass, always go for the glass. ALWAYS.

5) Rubber gloves do not stay where you last put them. EVER.

6) Dyeing stuff while wearing shorts and flip flops is a combination for disaster and yet it is something that must be done. Challenge yourself to see how little skin gets colorful.


Monday, September 29, 2014


A customer of mine who lives in a warm climate asked me to investigate a fiber that is new to me. Maybe it is new to you as well???? It is 100% wool and woven in a loose pattern as you can see from the photo below-

It dyes beautifully and would be great for felting or used as a wearable fiber with hand dyed habotai silk as a lining.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this as I am considering adding it to the fibers I dye and offer my customers at Fabric (

What would you do with it and what colors would you need?

Thanks for looking!

About Me

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Woodland, California, United States
I am a fiber artist. I am a teacher. I teach, I create, I counsel, I listen.

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