Classes and Workshops

These are just some of the seminars and workshops I offer. For more information, email me at dkovn[at]

One Warp, Three Fabrics: Weaving with 60/2 Silk

2 1/2 day workshop

Skill level: intermediate to advanced

This workshop aims to take the fear out of weaving with fine silk using a few tricks of the trade to achieve excellent results. Students will come away with samples of three distinctly different and useful fabrics: one suitable for scarves, with a delicate hand and wonderful drape; one resembling rag rugs, suitable for jackets and coats; and one collapse-weave fabric with lots of texture and personality. Students will also have a primer on the history and potential of silk fiber. Students must bring ideally a loom pre-warped beforehand with fiber provided by instructor. However, if student wants to spend class time warping, they can bring an unwarped loom to class.

Sawdust, Leaves, and Bugs: Shibori Techniques Using Natural Dyes 

One day workshop or 2 1/2 day workshop

Skill level: No experience needed 

Using commercial or handwoven fabric, we will create shibori-dyed fabric using Osage Orange, cochineal, and indigo natural dyes (along with a discharge vat, if time allows). First, we will immerse the piece in a walnut or an indigo dye vat to achieve a warm golden brown or an indigo blue base color. In the second session, we will discharge some of the base color, using dye resists (stringing, clamping and resist techniques) and a discharge (thiox) vat – or, if you prefer, a vat of the opposite color from your base color. This will create a pattern on the fabric. In the third session, we will re-tie and re-clamp the fabric for the final step, using any of the three vats: discharge (thiox), indigo, or walnut. We may even discharge a second time and then re-dye our pieces – it's your choice! The goal is to create a beautifully patterned fabric for you to use for garments, for embellishment, for quilts, for wall hanging, or other projects. The instructor will send a supply list prior to class.

Dorset Buttons

Three-Hour Workshop

Skill level: No experience needed

Learn to make colorful, whimsical buttons – for jewelry, surface decoration or fasteners for your handmade garments – using only curtain rings, a tapestry needle, yarn, and perhaps beads. Based on 19th century patterns from Dorset, England, these buttons are easy to create and customize to match your own fiber creations. To make your own buttons for a current weaving, felting, or knitting project, bring along your project and yarns.


Paint Two, Beam One: Maximizing Color in Your Weaving

2 ½ day workshop

Skill level: Intermediate to advanced, although adventurous beginners are welcome

This workshop teaches students how to hand-paint two warps in different color palettes and beam them together to make one beautiful warp on their loom. The result is an ever-changing color palette that serves as the basis for fabric that can be woven in virtually any weave structure. (Unlike most workshops, the weaving takes place at home, after the workshop!) Students will plan their project, paint two warps in different but compatible colorways of about 4-5 colors each, and then beam these warps together in stripes or blocks of their own choosing. The focus is on exploring the possibilities of color and learning new skills. Students may choose 20/2 spun silk or 60/2 spun silk for warps, depending on their comfort level. Undyed warp bouts will be provided by the instructor.


Collapse Weave Techniques

2 1/2 or 3 day workshop

Skill level: beginner to advanced

In the water, collapse-weave fabric changes before your eyes: pleating, folding, turning and reshaping itself and developing an entirely new texture. This workshop focuses on patterns, yarns, and how-to's to weave "tactile art." Topics include differential shrinkage and cloque, deflected double weave (fulled in the wash) weaving with S and Z twist yarns, weaaving with crepe and overtwist yarns, weaving with stainless-steel-blend and other specialty yarns, and using weave structures to acieve a collapse fabric. This is a round-robin workshop, with students moving from loom to loom to create a variety of samples to take home. Weavers must bring a warped 4 to 8 harness loom to each class. Instructor will provide warps and email student supply list two weeks prior to class.

Shibori Basics: Arashi, Itajime, and Ne-Maki Techniques

One day workshop

Skill level: no experience necessary

Take some undyed cotton fabric, bind it, immerse it in an indigo vat – and you will love the results! This workshop starts with cotton blanks and teaches you how to hand-dye them in indigo using shibori-resist techniques. Students will learn the basic techniques of itajime (shape-resist), arashi (pole-wrapping) and ne-maki (wrapping and tying cloth around found objects) to create beautifully patterned fabric for garments as well as for placemats, napkins, table runners, and other textiles. Recipes and techniques for creating your own indigo vat will also be shared. Supply list to be provided before class.


Getting the Blues: Natural Dyeing with Indigo and Woad

One-Day Workshop

Skill level: No experience needed

Discover the magic of indigo and woad – two ancient blue dyes – in this three-hour workshop. You'll come home with information on how to make your own stock solutions and how to maintain them. More important, you can bring your skeins and fabrics for dyeing – or even for shibori techniques. Depending on your fiber and your persistence, you'll get colors ranging from pale to deep blue.