Categories: Podcast

Episode 7: Making Plant Dyes With Kristin Morrison of All Species

Episode 7: Making Plant Dyes With Kristin Morrison of All Species

Kristin in her backyard dye lab with Baby Sage working on the avocado dye

In this episode of Grow What You Love, we visit the home and garden of Kristin Morrison of All Species, a fashion-forward ecological clothing company. When we arrive, Kristin is in the middle of making plant dyes in her outdoor dye lab — of course!

Kristin creates fabulous, wildcrafted textiles utilizing natural dyes made from plants that she grows in her dye garden or finds in the wild. As the story goes, her passion for her work sprang from a “chance encounter with a cluster of cacti just around the corner from her home.” There she found cochineal, not a plant but a bug, feeding on the cactus that she used to create the first of many dyes, this one a vibrant red. This is where she discovered the “perfect medium for bridging her studies in fashion design and plant medicine.”

Kristin’s life has taken some twists and turns in the process of becoming a cultivator of natural dyes but, in this episode, you hear that the thread that strings her life together is her deep love of nature, plants, and her intrinsic, creative drive.

Through the creation of All Species, Kristin has also created an opportunity to talk about regenerative design and giving back to nature, leaving it better than we found it.

Making Plant Dyes With Kristin

Our conversation took place outside in the garden — actually, food forest. Kristin and her husband have made their home into a plant lovers oasis filled with food, habitat for wildlife, and plants for making dyes. It’s a wonderful example of regenerative organics on a small scale.

Kristin’s Dye Garden and Dye Lab

This particular morning, Kristin was in the process making a dye out of avocado pits (avocado pits?! yep) for an art installation. We chatted about this while making our own dye with Mexican marigold.

Hang in there because we had some trouble with the audio in the first 3rd of our conversation when we were huddled together in the outdoor dye lab. There’s some feedback, but it’s well worth the listen.

Mexican Marigold Dye Making in Process

The Mexican marigold dye we made/Don’t you love this color?!

We hear first-hand how plant dyes are made. Learn which plants to use, how to extract dyes from plants, and how to set them into fabric.

The Dye Garden (& Food Forest)

Here are a few photos from my morning with Kristin. Can you see why I have garden envy?

Banana Plant


Setting up for the interview on the back deck.

Homegrown Papaya and Baby Sage

Indigo In Process

Matilja Poppy

Kristin Morrison with marigolds/Photo by Svn Space/Cole Ferguson

Learn More About Kristin & Her Company: All Species

Follow Kristin @LoveAllSpecies and see some of her many designs on Instagram here.

You can learn more about Kristin and see her clothing and famous harvesting apron on the All Species home site here. And it’s possible to take classes with her at the Ecology Center in Southern California. Check out the Ecology Center Events Schedule here and here.

Other podcasts you might enjoy:

At Home with Justine Kahn, Founder of Botnia

A Visit to the Home & Studio of William Ryan Fritch

Introducing… Emily Murphy with Grow What You Love!

Tips for Harvesting & Saving Seeds
Episode 8: Lilly Padilla, Chinese Nutritional Therapist & Cook


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About the Author: Emily Murphy

I’ve learned there’s something wonderfully powerful in the simple act of growing. Here, in our gardens, we can repair ourselves and our plots of earth with our own two hands. GROW WHAT YOU LOVE and GROW NOW!