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Sat, Apr 23


Wild Moon Fiber Arts Studio

Learning to Dye with Cochineal

During this day-long workshop you will dye your materials with cochineal and then learn to achieve the deep purples and oranges by overdying with indigo and osage.

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Learning to Dye with Cochineal
Learning to Dye with Cochineal

Time & Location

Apr 23, 2022, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM PDT

Wild Moon Fiber Arts Studio, 61855 Alta Vista Dr, Joshua Tree, CA 92252, USA


About the event

We will learn about the history and current use of this incredible substance… Cochineal.  

Red is the color of life and death. It is something that heats the blood. Cochineal has been used as a sacred substance, financed wars, been subject to piracy, and puzzled western Europeans invaders for more than 500 years, although its use goes back more than 2000 years in the Americas. We will learn to process it and shift its color through interesting methods.

Students will be provided with a handout, yarn to create samples, dye pots and ancillary supplies, two small silk scarves for a choice of projects later in the day.

Your instructor, Ercil Howard-Wroth, has been teaching fiber arts for the past 20 or so years. She is an accomplished dyer and expert spinner. Her hands carry many colors and techniques. She does research into resist dyeing, local dye plants, and various indigenous textile traditions. She sits on the board for Andean Textile Arts, a 501.c.3 non-profit. She teaches regularly for schools, guilds, Retreats, Conferences, re-enactment groups and demos. She is published in Spin-Off and other publications.

What to bring:

  • Students may bring up to 6 oz of yarn or other natural fiber fabric. (i.e. silk, wool, alpaca, cotton, linen). NO canvas, NO Denim, sheets or table clothes. These are shared dyepots and there is a limited amount of dye. Please bring your fiber pre-scoured to class (at least wash gently in very warm water with dawn dishwashing liquid and rinse gently, but well.. be careful NOT to felt). If students know how to pre-mordant please do so.. however, do not worry we will attend to things in class for those who do not.
  • Rubber gloves
  • Apron to protect clothing
  • Pen and paper to take notes. 
  • Hat, sunscreen, water bottle or reusable cup (event is held outdoors). Water will be provided on site.
  • A bag lunch or money for lunch at one of our local eateries. 
  • Proof of COVID vaccination and booster


  • Learning to Dye with Cochineal

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