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.

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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 Stony Creek Colors’ 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 addition, 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’s work on page 64