Plants have been used to dye fibre and fabric for thousands of years and a beautiful natural palette is still available to you without the need for harmful chemicals. Local weeds or kitchen off-cuts can offer harmonious hues in a range of values and intensity. This hands-on workshop introduces a selection of local colour possibilities, as well as discussing fibre types, mordanting options and safety of dyes. Shibori techniques will also be used to produce patterned cloth. Come and discover some of nature’s hidden sources of colour!

CERES members and concession holders are entitled to a 10% discount. Enter "ceresmember" under the promotion and gifts code field.

*Please note that the CERES member or concession discount does not apply to "Bring-A-Friend" tickets which are already discounted

This workshop is wheelchair accessible

Trainer Bio:

Ilka White is an artist, designer and maker of textiles. Her work often responds to the forces at play within the natural world and reflects the principals of sustainability. She is a great believer in the ability of beauty and creativity to lift the spirit. An experienced teacher, Ilka's popular classes also reflect her love of the handmade, and her contemporary use of traditional making methods.


For Information on our cancellation policy please click here

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Class Schedule

This workshop runs from 10 AM to 3PM

What you will learn
  • Natural dyes to use
  • Colour possibilities
  • Dyeing techniques

What to bring
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scissors
  • Bucket
  • Large sealable jar / container
  • Notepad and Pen
What to wear

Old clothing or an apron



Vendor since 2013

CERES - Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, is an award winning, not-for-profit, sustainability centre located on 4.5 hectares on the Merri Creek in East Brunswick, Melbourne.

It is also a thriving community, an urban farm, Australia’s largest deliverer of environmental education, an event and conference venue and a place rich with social and cultural diversity. CERES is recognised as an international leader in community and environmental practice.

Built on a decommissioned rubbish tip that was once a bluestone quarry, today CERES is a vibrant eco-oasis. 350,000 people visit CERES each year. Many more engage with us through our Sustainable Schools program which takes sustainable education into schools across the state.

CERES’ green technology displays, buildings, education and training programs and social enterprises (CERES’ Organic Market, Café, Permaculture Nursery and Fair Food organics delivery) demonstrate food security, sustainable agriculture, energy efficiencies, renewables and water conservation in action.

CERES is a model for a future with sustainability, innovation and connectedness at its heart.

Come, be welcome, you never know what you will find on our rambling paths.

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4 Reviews
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18 November 2017 • Natural Dyeing with Ilka White

The Natural Dyeing with Ilka White Workshop 11 November 2017 Ilka White is a really good Tutor and knows her subject really well. Her approach was creative and everyone in the group was included and from their feedback in talking everyone really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot from Ilka and her wide knowledge and experience in this field.


15 November 2017 • Natural Dyeing with Ilka White

This was a fantastic course! We learnt how to make dyes from 11 different local plants, working through all stages from prepping the plants to boiling them, immersing 5 different samples of cloth, drying the cloth and making sample sheets. Then we were taught the technique of Shibori and tried it on a small piece of Japanese silk. I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend the day with such a talented artist as Ilka White teaching us how to make natural dyes. Ilka is also a great teacher and was very organised and patient with everyone in the group. We were also fortunate to have a few other artists in the group and there was some very productive sharing of knowledge and skills. I am so excited and inspired by the day! Thank you Ceres for running such a wonderful course.


24 May 2017 • Natural Dyeing with Ilka White

Amazed at the colors obtained from simple natural material. It was an enjoyable and fun day with a very knowledgeable instructor and was good value for money. Would highly recommend this class

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