Many explorations of natural dyes have “magical” outcomes that fade to disappointing shades of blotchy beige and grey. How does one transform a natural dye practice from “magic” to method and achieve bright, beautiful, lasting results? In this presentation, I will share best practices that I have developed over the past two decades. I started working with natural dyes in the early 2000’s with color exploration at a teaching studio that focused on low-water, low-toxicity methods of dyeing. My practice has been informed by historical and scientific documents, old oil paintings, local weaving guild pamphlets, and a severe summer drought –alongside many conversations with teachers and colleagues about methods and ethics. A background in biology and chemistry, a keen sense of color, and laboratory skills allow me to experiment, observe and record my practice. I will share how I’ve learned the importance of water quality, use and conservation and the complexity of plant dyes –and how these factors interact in recipes for repeatable natural color.