From raw materials to finished product, using contemporary and historical techniques.Professional folk arts instructor, craftsperson, and dye supplier.
Hailing from the Great Plains, Lesley’s passion for fiber and folk life has led her on quite the journey: from Northern folk schools to volunteering with rare-breed sheep in Wales; weaving in the attic studio of village elders who speak a dying language that predates modern Swedish; and being spooked by bears in Appalachia while dye-hunting, to name a few. In addition to growing and conscientiously foraging natural dyes, she practices historical and regional knitting, weaving, and yarn spinning. When teaching courses, she loves to work with beginners and advanced students with humor while sparking their curiosity for fiber and folk culture.
In addition to being available through her website, her home-grown dyes have been distributed through national dye retailers.
She has worked alongside renowned knitter Nancy Bush learning Estonian techniques, dyed with Shetland’s textile historian Elizabeth Johnston, assisted Appalachian wonder Martha Owen, and teaches workshops throughout the Midwest.
Lesley Darling is a regular instructor at:
John C Campbell Folk School (Brasstown, NC)
American Swedish Institute (Minneapolis, MN)
Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum (Decorah, IA)
Land Alliance Folk School outside Iowa City, IA;
Lincoln South of Downtown Art Hub (Lincoln, NE)
Contact me with all your questions, or to bring me to your organization for online or in person workshops!
Joelle Tangen, sewist, is a recent honors graduate of the Textiles and Fashion Design program at UNL, with an emphasis on sustainable and zero-waste clothing. Joelle has worked with Lesley on a variety of projects, including the upcoming Pattie Gonia x Audubon Society collaboration.
Dayonna Tucker is a sewist and designer based in California. She has worked with a variety of troupes with indigo costuming, works with portraiture quilting, and many other creative practices.