The biodiversity of plant-based fibers and dyes is vast. The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley invites you to learn more about the world of natural fibers and dyes. From traditional uses to inspired future innovation in eco-fashion and textiles, a walk through our exhibit illuminates the connection of culture with nature.
Cotton, linen, and other natural fibers such as bamboo, hemp, soya, abaca and pina (pineapple) provide a variety of material options for textiles. From basket weaving to denim jeans, plants have allowed for both utility and inspiration in our everyday lives.
Plant dyeing can be an incredibly rewarding and awe- inspiringmethod of creating color. Natural color can be created from everything from daffodils to eucalyptus. The craft of natural dyeing has existed for thousands of years. Natural dyes for clothing and textiles were most likely discovered through the process of cooking and creating medicine from plant sources. Natural dyeing is a craft that holds insight into the science of color and nature, as well as a window into the long history of inspired human creativity and design.