Wari Tunic, c. 700-1100. Wari Culture. Tapestry; 42-15/16 x 45-1/2 in. William R. Carlisle 1956.84
  • Wari Tunic, c. 700-1100. Wari Culture. Tapestry; 42-15/16 x 45-1/2 in. William R. Carlisle 1956.84
A

The Art and Science of Natural Dyes

Grade Level: 
4-6
Student Level: 
Elementary

Discover the plant, animal, and mineral sources for the colors and pigments we use every day. Vivid multimedia and classroom activities help explain the processes of extracting pigments to create dyes. Textile art from around the world and throughout history provide a rich context for learning. Each student creates a wool and paper bookmark to keep from materials included in the Teacher Information Packet.

Program Format: 
  • Introduction to using natural dyes throughout history.
  • Students classify whether certain items could be used as plant, animal, and mineral dyes.
  • View museum artwork made using animal dye, and students use the same dye on their bookmarks (provided in the teacher information packet.)
  • View museum artwork dyed with plant dyes, and students use plant dye on their bookmarks.
  • View museum artwork dyed with mineral dyes, and students use mineral dye on their bookmarks.
  • Finish filling out student viewing guides and ask final questions.
Objectives: 
  • Students will understand that dyes can be classified as natural or synthetic.
  • Students will understand how plants, animals, and mineral sources provide colors and pigments for natural dyes.