Catharine Ellis

Catharine Ellis, image courtesy of the artist.

Catharine Ellis has been a weaver and a dyer for over 40 years. After three decades of teaching the Fiber Program at Haywood Community College in NC she is now dedicated to studio work, focusing on natural dye processes. She also does specialized selected teaching, in the U.S. and internationally. Recent projects include teaching natural dyeing in Guatemalan through Mayan Hands.

Catharine is the originator of the woven shibori process and author of the instructional book, Woven Shibori (Interweave Press, 2005). Her textile work is shown extensively in exhibitions and shows. She is currently working collaboratively with the Oriole Mill in NC to produce specialty Jacquard fabrics.

“I am always trying to learn more about the natural dye process.  Mostly, this is to become a better dyer, but there is also an intellectual curiosity that keeps me asking questions, testing, and observing. Joy Boutrup, my co-author of The Art and Science of Natural Dyes, is a textile chemist and engineer. She has generously explained so much to me over the years, giving me a glimpse of the logic behind all of our dyeing processes, but never overwhelming me with the technicality of the chemistry. 

 Understanding and practicing natural dye is a never-ending process. Learning WHY we do things is key to being our best as dyers.”