The Textile Dye Garden is an ongoing project located in Cannoneer Courtyard on Pratt Institute's in Brooklyn, NY campus.  We serve as a resource for sustainability education and a hub for collaboration and experimentation within the Pratt and surrounding communities. more...

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Summer Open Hours for all begin in June, follow our instagram or check back here!

Celebrating Our Community: Open House 2024 with Field Meridians Nature School

The Pratt Dye Garden, nestled within the vibrant community of Clinton Hill, recently welcomed visitors to its 2024 Open House, marking the beginning of the fourth growing season. The event, rich in collaboration and education, showcased the intersection of art, sustainability, and community engagement. The Pratt Dye Garden is led by School of Design professors Gina Gregorio and Isa Rodrigues and maintained by dedicated Dye Garden Crew students.

Rooted in Pratt Institute, the Textile Dye Garden stands as a hub of education and collaboration. It serves not only as a resource for the Pratt community but as a beacon inviting broader participation from the surrounding neighborhoods. With a focus on experimentation and innovation, the garden embodies Pratt's commitment to responsible practices. 

Field Meridians & FM Nature School: An artist collective  committed to strengthening local food ecologies, Field Meridians brings a unique perspective to the table. Alongside their commitment to food sovereignty, they also champion arts-based urban ecology through FM Nature School. This curriculum, designed to generate tools for resilience, underscores the importance of creative approaches to sustainability education. Their partnership with the Open House highlighted the multifaceted nature of sustainability initiatives within the community.

For more information visit : Field Meridians Nature School

Words of the Flowers : a plant profile and poetry collaboration created by the Garden Crew

On display in the greenhouse: various samples of our natural dye processes

Cara Marie Piazza: Renowned as a Natural Dyer and artisan, Cara brought her deep knowledge of natural dyes to the event and a cadre of supplies sponsored by Botanical Colors. Her dedication to using only natural materials, ranging from botanicals to food wastes, aligns perfectly with the garden's ethos. Throughout the day, attendees had the opportunity to glean insights and experiment with Cara’s instruction as she shared her joy of painting with natural materials.

For more information visit : Calyx Studios and Botanical Colors

The Social Practice Kitchen: A testament to innovation, the Social Practice Kitchen stands as a symbol of collaborative creativity. Constructed in 2020, it serves as a space for culinary exploration and experimentation. During the Open House, Professor Amanda Huynh and Grad Assistant Charlotte Reiter joined forces with the Dye Garden crew to craft delectable appetizers featuring locally sourced ingredients such as Austrian Winter Pea Pesto, Dandelion Honey, and Pickled Magnolias. Their culinary creations highlighted the intersection of sustainability and gastronomy.

One Love Community Fridge: With a mission to tackle hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition, the One Love Community Fridge embodies the spirit of inclusivity and compassion. At the Open House, volunteers from the organization shared bundled herbs with participants, emphasizing the importance of fresh, nutritious food access. 

Through their advocacy efforts, they shed light on issues of food justice and encourage active participation in the movement towards a more sustainable food system.

For more information and ways to help visit : One Love Community Fridge 

INT.602.2024 | Farm 2 Campus + Community 

Adjunct Professor - CCE Sheryl Kasak

Nourishment: Farm to Campus and Community looks at how Community Supported Agriculture [CSA] works, and proposes the prototypical design for co-opting the unused space[s] of the dining shed, a relic of NYC’s epicurean response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The new program supports the supply and distribution of food grown by local farmers, mobile community outreach, and educational kitchens. Limited on-site growing and composting collection completes the growing cycle. This is a 1:1 scale and studio-wide  project.

Big Damn Print: Professor Martin Mazorra, from Pratt School of Fine Art's Printmaking Department, displayed the work of students  Lyvia Turpin (2024)“Low Hanging Fruit" and  Hanna Wuttig (2024) “Deep Winter View” in the lobby of the garden.

 ChirpPeek: Installed in the Garden by designer Meiqing Tian ID , ChirpPeek is an Interspecies Installation designed for Urban Public Spaces. Participants were able to observe the bird population within the garden at a respectful distance.

The Pratt Beekeeping club provided visitors with an opportunity to learn about local pollinators and tour their new apiary just outside the garden. The project was founded by Pratt Foundation Lab in 2023.  

The Pratt Dye Garden's Open House not only celebrated the commencement of a new growing season but also served as a platform for fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and advocating for a more sustainable future. Visitors, from both Pratt Institute and the surrounding communities, mingled throughout the day sharing connection and experiences in community engagement and collective action.  

To join us for open hours, volunteering and events in 2024, follow our Instagram: Pratt Dye Garden 

Weaving Threads: Natural Dyes at the Intersection of Art & Science

Over the course of the fall semester, student scholar and dye garden member Ana Codorean collaborated with Pratt faculty to create a unit that on natural dyes that intertwined art, weaving, botany, ecology, chemistry, and technology. The project was funded through the Pratt STEAMplant Initiative. Learn more about the project here.

Indigo Harvesting and Processing

In October 2022, our team harvested and processed our Japanese Indigo into pigment. Learn about the intensive process here.

LES Girls Club Bundle Dye Event

Over the summer, the Textile Dye Garden hosted the Lower East Side Girls Club  (partnership with MoMA PS1) for a bundle dyeing event. Learn more here.

Clay-Resist Indigo Worskhop

We used our "Pratt Vat" (our hand-made indigo henna vat) to host a clay-resist workshop. Participants painted on fabric with clay and dipped in our vat. Learn more here.

Paper-Making Worskhop

One of our summer events was a paper-making workshop. We used recycled paper scraps and fresh flowers from our garden. Learn about the process here.

Lake Pigment Worskhop

As part of Pratt's Earth Action Week, the Textile Dye Garden held a paint-making event hosted by Professor Cindie Kehlet. Our team created Lake Pigments using our 2021 dried yield, and Kehlet demonstrated how to use these pigments to make paint using various binder.

Learn more about the process here.

Swatch Book Vol. 1 Now Residing in the Material Lab at Pratt

One edition of our Swatch Book Vol.1 can now be found at the Pratt Material Lab. This provides all students at Pratt with access to the swatches and information, with the hopes of expanding the use of natural dyes outside of the fashion department. Textile Dye Garden team member Ana Codorean (MA Art and Design Education '22) sat down with Sarah Burry (MSLIS/MA History of Art and Design ’23) to discuss the book.

Image courtesy of the Material Lab

The Case for Natural Dyes

The Textile Dye Garden was featured in an article in Atmos Magazine. The article highlights several artists and organizations working to promote the sustainable use of natural dyes in the textile industry.

Read the full article here

Swatch Book Vol. 1

At the end of our Fall 2021 season, we completed our first edition of our annual Swatch books. These books serve as an education research and archive of our annual harvest. A digital version of the swatches can be found here.

 A Campus Garden Flourishes with Flowers for Natural Dyes

Read the full article on Pratt's website here.

Dyeing with Stored Yield Workshop

Expert natural dyer Cara Marie Piazza led a virtual event in collaboration with the Textile Garden, were she demonstrated several techniques using our garden's 2021 harvest stored yield. Watch the full video here.

 Indigo Dye Workshop

On November 5th, 2021, we had an Indigo Dye Workshop at the garden. We worked with the indigo vat in two ways: dipping clay-resist screen printed bandanas, and itajime (Japanese resist dye folding techniques).

Learn more about the process and see our results here.

We took advantage of a warm October day to do some fresh leaf indigo dyeing in the garden.

Although the indigo was a bit past its prime this late in the season, we still were able to achieve some incredible results, particularly on the raw silk.

Pictured above is a sample of a bundle dyed fabric (using fresh flowers like marigold) that we overdyed with fresh leaf indigo.

Low Water Dye Workshop

Our first workshop at the garden was on October 8, 2021. Participants used low-water bundle dye techniques to dye deadstock cotton and wool.

Learn more about the process here.

Professor Gregorio's Material Manipulation class (Pratt Fashion Textile Minor) harvested a portion of the Japanese indigo from the garden beds and immediately set to work dyeing fabrics in the studio using a range of techniques. 

Black Walnuts foraged from Prospect Parks were processed into rich brown dyes for a range of yarns.

See images from the studio here

Learn more about Fresh Leaf Indigo Dyeing her

The Textile Dye Garden is only the second garden to exist at Pratt Institute. The first garden at Pratt was created in the early 1900s and served as an education tool for the teacher training program.

View more photos of the garden here.