Dyeing Uzbekistan Silk

I just returned from a two day workshop which encompassed natural dyeing, weaving and embroidery taught by artisans from Uzbekistan partnered with US artisans. For the dyeing portion of the workshop, Kathy Hattori from Earthues partnered with Modrim Matkorimov, Khiva Master Dyer, with language interpreting by Dilorom Nishanova. We dyed with raw materials as would be used in Uzbekistan. We used green leaves from apple, grape and camillia, onion skins, madder root, weld, cochineal bugs, black walnut hulls and indigo. We also had the good fortune to view a slideshow one evening of the exchange project as it unfolded in Uzbekistan where the US artisans first traveled to meet and work with the Khiva artisans. We were able to view and purchase exquisite textiles made by the Uzbek people from silk rugs, to fine silk fabrics, handwoven and dyed, to embroidered pieces. Uzbekistan is the third largest producer of silk in the world after China and Japan. It was a fantastic experience to both work and communicate directly with the Uzbek artisans, one none of us will soon forget!