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SOLD OUT- Natural Dyeing with Food Waste with Liz Spencer the Dogwood Dyer

  • Brooklyn Grange Clinton Ave & Flushing Ave Brooklyn, NY, 11205 United States (map)

This event is SOLD OUT. Please visit our upcoming events calendar for other great opportunities to visit the farm!

Event Description

Using only organic plant matter such as food waste intended for the compost you will gain knowledge & experiment with the time honored art of natural dyeing with The Dogwood Dyer. In this class you will come away with an understanding of how to work with natural colors to achieve the most vibrant and long lasting results while learning about traditional tie & bind surface design techniques as well as how to create paints from plants.

Liz Spencer of The Dogwood Dyer will explain using homemade soymilk and minerals to bind the color, and demonstrate some of her favorite low impact dye extraction methods using kitchen scraps saved from local restaurants. Most everyone has had to donate or downcycle garments or linens at some point due to everyday wear, spills, accidents and laundry mishaps. Following the dye techniques from this class, you can mask unsightly stains using accessible dyes. This project is for anyone looking to create and experiment with beautiful colors while doing no harm to the planet, your home and your body.

No prior knowledge on textiles or dyes is required. Participants will leave with a color selection of natural textiles, the knowledge of tinting textiles using plants as well as info resources on how to repeat the process at home. Guests are also welcome to bring 1 small to medium sized garment or textile item to dye at the workshop. Stained items are wonderful for the dye pot so that they may have a new colorful life!


So many wonderful friends and organizations are helping make this color dream come true! Food scraps have been collected and stored over these past few months by the following:

Purslane Catering - They are the team behind Rucola, June, and Metta, and are proud to be New York's first trash-free and carbon neutral caterer. With a vegetable-forward cuisine and a slow-food ethos, we aim to provide beautiful, delicious, and sustainable food for all of your special events.

Bonbite and Rethink Food NYCI - Our Navy Yard neighbors, Bonbite is mission-driven catering company focusing on taking care of their guests and community through food experiences and events. They are partnered with Rethink Food NYC, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that collects excess food from restaurants, farms, events, and food vendors to create new meals for underserved communities.

Eleven36 is the Brooklyn-based headquarters for the full-service catering company and take-away café. Their philosophy is relatively simple. They strive to introduce people to how it feels to eat vegetable-forward food aligned with the season, how different locally sourced food can taste, and how it feels when our bodies are finely tuned.


Liz Spencer- also known as The Dogwood Dyer, has years of experience foraging, growing & processing plants for dye in both urban and rural locations. Her most recent experience of tending a dye garden nestled between rows of her family's heritage orange grove in California on the cusp of an ever sprawling human population has taught her much about water conservation, waste stream tapping and how to push her craft in a more sustainable and environmentally sound manner. 

She holds a Master of Arts from the world's leading sustainable fashion graduate program  'Fashion Futures' at the London College of Fashion where she discovered natural dyeing. She has taught fashion, sustainability, and natural dyeing at Parsons the New School and continually teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She was a venture fellow at the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator (BF+DA) and now splits her time each year teaching between California and New York with the ambition to increase sustainable literacy & practices in the fashion and textiles industries.

She is now finding a new rhythm by the ocean in San Clemente, CA with her partner and two small children.


PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, Brooklyn Grange will not provide credit or refunds for tickets purchased on our website for a workshop, dining event, yoga class, or tour.  Events take place rain or shine. Please understand that buying a ticket to one of our events is no different from buying a concert ticket, theater ticket, or movie ticket. You are always welcome to gift your class to a friend if you cannot make it!

Please let us know if you would like to attend but are unable to do so due to registration fees. We are happy to extend a discount or full scholarship to low income members of our community. If you know an organization or an individual who might be well served by this program, please tell them to reach out to us via email at Brooklyn Grange recognizes that everyone’s situation is unique and we understand that there are circumstances beyond income, but please consider that we have our own bottom line to hit, and an ecosystem whose health depends on the financial sustainability of our organization. Please consider your privilege (ie. education, generational wealth, parental and community support, partnership status and other circumstances that may offer you a safety net which allows more resilience when financial setbacks occur)* before reaching out. Note that we we may ask for proof of income before we are able to make a determination of eligibility.

*Thank you to our friends at Farm School NYC for this language. 

Earlier Event: May 1
Farm Tour | Brooklyn Navy Yard
Later Event: May 8
Farm Tour | Brooklyn Navy Yard