Podcasts & Videos


Slow Fiber Studios produces regular podcasts of our ongoing lecture and event series, you can subscribe by clicking ‘like’ at the bottom of the page.

Slow Fiber Radio podcasts are free for everyone to enjoy, thanks to the support of our World Shibori Network (WSN) members. To become a WSN member, click here.

Industry Talk: Natural Dyes

Regenerative Natural Dye Manufacturing in the Southeastern U.S.
Sarah Bellos
Thursday 24 October 2019 at Slow Fiber Studios ANNEX,  Berkeley, CA

Sarah Bellos, CEO and founder of Stony Creek Colors (SCC), returned to Berkeley to share with us some details how the company is shaping the future of the fashion industry in the U.S. SCC challenges modern industrial practices by fostering local agriculture, strengthening the local economy, and implementing environmental sustainability in manufacturing natural dyes for textiles. Their bio-based colors are made from locally farmed plants. SCC is the first company in USA to grow indigo for bio-based dyes at a scale usable for commercial textile industry. 

Untitled design (16)

Link to Stoney Creek Color’s Natural Indigo Powder & Natural Dried Leaf Indigo


Curator & Textile Conservator 
Alejandro de Ávila & Kristal Hale-Murray
Sunday, 13 October 2019 at Slow Fiber Studios ANNEX, Berkeley, CA

Alejandro de Ávila, a curator of the Oaxaca Textile Museum and director of the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca, presents his findings as he recreated a 17th Century woven feather-work fragment from the Mixtec region of southern Mexico, donated by artist Francisco Toledo to the Oaxaca Textile Museum, Mexico.

Our second lecture, by Kristal Hale-Murray, a textile conservator, shares her thesis at the Abegg Foundation. An analysis and conservation research of a 13th-14th century Italian medieval, tapestry-woven alms purse. In additional, she provides a glimpse into the current exhibition organized at the Abegg-Stiftung, Switzerland, Luxury on the Nile – Late Antique Attire from Egypt.

Alejandro de Ávila: The Raffle of the Jaguar


Link to Cochineal Dyestuff from Oaxaca, Mexico


Artist Talk

An Artists Exploration through Weaving & Natural Dyes
Catharine Ellis
Thursday, 12 September 2019 at Slow Fiber Studios ANNEX, Berkeley, CA

Weaver, natural dye expert, and artist Catharine Ellis gives a talk and book signing after day 3 of her 5 days of natural dye workshops. She pioneered woven-resist dye techniques, which led to her pursuit of natural dyeing with her mentor, botanist and natural dyer Michel Garcia. She has been sharing her extensive research in natural dyeing with the worldwide textile community through books and teaching. Most recently she co-authored The Art and Science of Natural Dyes with textile chemist Joy Boutrup. The evening will conclude with a potluck dinner and social.


Link to Catherine Ellis and Joy Boutrup’s Natural Dye Book

Link to Catherine Ellis’s Woven Shibori Scarf Blanks

EBHQ Lecture

Transformative Power of Stitchery: Northeastern Japan and Nui Project
Yoshiko I Wada
Saturday, 29 April 2019 at East Bay Heritage Quilters, Kensington, CA

Esteemed textile scholar Yoshiko I. Wada presents her research on sashiko’s regional characteristics in the past and present and the phenomenon of its global spread, drawing connections between this folk craft, now elevated to art, and the work of untrained artists at the Nui Project, operated by the Shobu Gakuen Social Welfare Facility in southern Japan.


Link to Sashiko Thread and Nui Shibori Thread from Japan

Link to Nui Project 1 Book & Nui Project 2 Book  from Shobu Gakuen in Japan

Batik Colloquium: Enduring Art of Dyers In Indonesia

Film Screening + Lectures + Batik Demonstration + Indonesian Dance & Music Performance + Batik Trunk Show
Sunday, 14 October, 2018 at Hillside Club, Berkeley, CA

Slow Fiber Studios hosted a series of events focused on Javanese life and culture through the lens of its batik traditions. Batik touches on just about every aspect of Indonesian life. From the cloth a child is wrapped in when it is born to the clothing worn by Indonesian leaders at important gatherings, batik binds a proud nation to a long and cherished cultural identity. Batik is truly “intangible”, as UNESCO  proclaimed in 2009. It is part of our world heritage, the identity of an island nation, worthy of admiration and preservation.

Chapter 1 – Natasha Reichle: Historical and Social Background of Batik

Reichel Tsunami Batik 1

Chapter 2 – Daniel Gundlach: Contemporary Batik Production In Java


Chapter 3 – Dr. Donald Breyer Presents His Unique Batik Collection


Chapter 4 – Yoshiko Jinzenji: Translated by Yoshiko Wada

YoshikoJinzenji_Batik Colloquium

Link to Yoshiko Wada’s book, Memory on Clothfeaturing Yoshiko Jinzenji work on page 64

Indigo Colloquium

The Year of Ethnobotany: North American Indigo Projects
Sunday, 31 March 2019 at UC Botanical Garden, Berkeley, CA

Slow Fiber Studios and UC Botanical Garden collaborated in presenting the North American Indigo Projects with guest speakers, including world-renowned natural dye expert Michel Garcia from France; Sarah Bellos of Stony Creek Colors, Tennessee; and Rowland Ricketts, Indiana. Their presentations will be followed by a discussion panel with Rebecca Burgess of Fibershed; Craig Wilkinson, Sonoma; Graham Keegan, Los Angeles; and a moderator, Yoshiko Wada, Berkeley.


Keynote speaker, botanist, phytochemist, and dyer, Michel Garcia presents a powerpoint lecture on Indigo.

Link to Michel Garcia’s latest DVD “Beyond Mordants & Indigo Intensive”

Link to Michel Garcia’s previous DVD “Colors of Provence”

Link to Michel Garcia’s latest DVD “Colors of Latin America”

Link to Michel Garcia’s latest DVD “Organic Dyes to Pigments”

Curator, Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada’s gallery talk at “African American Quilt,” exhibited at the Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, U.K. 2007, and Nagoya Dome, World Quilt Carnival, Nagoya, Japan, 2005.  Recorded by Andrew Galli of Galli Creative.

Currently, the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive is hosting the Rosie Lee Tompkins: Retrospective Exhibition  February 19-July 19,2020.

Lawrence Rinder, BAMPFA Director gives a vistual tour of the exhibiton.

Sunshine & Surprise, African American Quilts

From the Collections of Eli Leon and Robert & Helen Cargo. Yoshiko Wada curates this wonderful exhibition of African American Quilts from major private collectors in the USA. The work represents living and deceased artists who work with scrap fabrics to produce traditional log cabin and unconventional designs on cloth. Arbie Williams’ “Britches Quilt” sees the transformation of overalls set against a floral background — complete with brand labels and pockets. Rosie Lee Tompkins “Three Sixes” quilt is actually the work of “Effie Mae Howard” who would not allow her real name used in her work until after her death. A wonderful exhibition with several acclaimed African American Artists whose works are now in major private and public collections.

Link to the Women of Color Quilter’s Network website

Link to Quilting for Culture , Bisa Butler video

Textile researcher Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada and boro collector and book editor, Kim Shuefftan discuss Japanese boro textiles in their collection. Filmed by Andrew Galli of Galli Creative. 

BORO (Rag) Patchwork Japanese Quilts



The Japanese term “boro” refers to objects that have been used, broken, and in the case of textile, worn to tatters and sometimes extensively repaired and used beyond their expected life cycle. Boro which once meant a ‘rag’ or castaway cloth, now means a great deal more.  Boro inspired textile connoisseurs to amass collections; fashion designers to incorporate tatters and repairs in their work; some artists to mimic the mending language; and museums and galleries to host boro exhibitions since 2000.