Sewing Seeds provides accessible, accurate, and inspired information on natural dyes, to bring awareness for their use as a sustainable art medium.










Sewing Seeds works with community gardens, urban farms, parks and other green spaces to grow and identify natural dye plants. In these gardens, the public can interact and learn from a number of plant species that can be used to obtain color. During the warm months, these gardens are also a backdrop for workshops, lectures and other events. Learn about our past Natural Dye gardens here.


Our past garden partners:


Heckscher Foundation Children Garden, Bushwick

Gill Hodges Community Garden, Carroll Gardens

Old Stone House, Park Slope

Greene Acres Community Garden, Bed-Stuy

Pioneer Works, Red Hook





Sewing Seeds offers an all year series of free all-ages classes that takes place in our partner gardens, during the Summer, and indoor venues across the city during the Winter. Workshops are taught by guest artists and Sewing Seeds staff and feature traditional and innovative ways to work with natural dyes. 



Sewing Seeds also collaborates with other organizations and schools in the development lectures, workshops and master classes. Past collaborators include the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Skillshare, Local Roots, Ideas City (New Museum), LBDA. 






Sewing Seeds’ Residency awards artists that integrate natural dyes, community engagement and public spaces in their practice. During 6 weeks, the selected artist will work towards developing a site specific project to be displayed outdoors in a public space. Throughout the residency, the artist will have access to studio space and locally grown natural dye materials.


2015 Resident: Ricki Dwyer

2015 Venue: Heckscher Foundation Children's Garden, Bushwick


View photos of Ricki Dwyer's installation for the Heckscher Foundation Children's Garden here.



Past Sewing Seeds Residents:

Sewing Seeds Residency 2014: Brigitta Varadi

Sewing Seeds Residency 2013: Neil Goss




Funding Credits:

This Sewing Seeds' Residency is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC); and in collaboration with the New York Restoration Project.






Sewing Seeds online resource materials allow easy access to accurate and inspiring information on natural dyes to an ever growing audience. Our resources are the result of ongoing research and experimentation and are meant to be used and shared.



The Mapping Project identifies and records the natural dye plants that exist throughout New York’s parks and public spaces. The maps provide an access to point to engage with familiar surroundings in a new way.


Maps are available for free download:

Prospect Park 

Trees of Central Park 



Growing Color brings awareness about natural dye to wider audience through the cultivation and identification of natural dye plants in public spaces. Sewing Seeds offers natural dye plant seedlings to participating participating community gardens, as well as dye plant identification labels.  



Tutorials highlighting traditional natural dyeing processes, materials and techniques, as well as research projects on more advanced and experimental practices.


Bundle Dyeing 

Dyeing with tea + iron 

Fermentation indigo vat 

Painting with natural pigments + soy milk









City Atlas New York, February 9th, 2012

SHFT, March 11th, 2012

Good, March 22nd, 2012

New York Times, April 4th, 2012

Ecco*Eco, April 5th, 2012

Design is... the blog, August 4th, 2012

Brooklyn Mag, July 25th, 2012

DNAinfo, September 12th, 2012

Village Voice, Best Of, October 4th, 2012

Thread Cult Podcast, December 16th, 2012

Pretext Social Club, May 6th, 2013

Edible Brooklyn, May 13th, 2014

Ecouterre, May 13th, 2014