Michele Wipplinger is an author, educator, photographer and master dyer and designer with over thirty years experience in natural dyes. Michele trained in France and Switzerland with noted natural master dyes, and developed her style of dyeing that yields beautiful, repeatable hues using only non-toxic alum mordants. In 1992 she introduced the concept of natural dye extracts that yielded brilliant, consistent, lightfast hues that were safe and easy to use. To this day, Earthues does not use any heavy metal mordants that are dangerous to human health and the planet.
Earthues is committed to working with artisans of other cultures, and Michele frequently consults around the world to support the revival and innovation in traditional textiles and crafts. As well, she works with cottage industries and cooperatives to develop markets for natural dyestuffs that sustain rural populations and respect their local resources.
Michele lectures worldwide and has developed products and consulted on color for Aveda, Origins, Martha Stewart Living, Espirit, Terra Verde and the Nature Conservancy. She is a chairholder and served on the Board of Directors for Color Marketing Group. Michele 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. Michele is active in the local Seattle arts community, and teaches a number of natural dye and color classes throughout the US and Canada. Recently, Michele presented at the UNESCO sponsored conference "naturally..." in Hyderabad, India on natural dyes of the Americas. Her latest work has been centered in Senegal, West Africa and Uzbekistan, helping to retain vital natural dye traditions with artisans in these cultures. Michele makes her home in Seattle with her husband Andro and their wonderful grandson, Oliver.