Natural color. Since color is the focus this month, we thought we'd introduce you to Earthues, a textile-design studio that specializes in natural dyes made from roots, bark, flowers and insects. Natural dyes are nontoxic, biodegradable and the colors don't clash like chemical dyes. Dyes from Earthues are also fair-trade and sustainably harvested.

Their online store sells the dyes themselves and is also a treasure trove of information about where the dyes come from, having been obtained for the most part directly from traditional producers all over the world.

The studio itself, in the Ballard area of Seattle, sells textiles and crafts both made with the dyes and imported from the areas where the dyes were sourced. The studio also hosts classes on dyeing and folk crafts, some taught by owner and founder Michele Wipplinger — who notably received an award from the United Nations for her "environmental stewardship on the development of an ecological natural dye process for the American textile industry."

To get a taste for the craft of dyeing, Earthues sells a kit for $169.95 that contains a selection of dyes, and instruction book and sample swatches on a variety of natural fabrics. Call Earthues directly for details.

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