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Ellen Erede Wells Dye Lab


Rent the Dye Lab for your next project! Please note: your membership and dye lab training needs to be current to rent.*

Textile Center Dye Lab is a state-of-the-art facility available for rent by Textile Center members ONLY, and is used extensively in our classes and youth programs. Designed for use by fiber art professionals and practitioners to be a functional and safe place to work with dyes and related chemicals, it is equipped for almost any dye or surface design project. Space is suited to groups no larger than 8 people, depending on the extent of the activity. To rent the dye lab and discuss any questions or exceptions, contact Cristin McKnight Sethi, cmcknightsethi@textilecentermn.org, or call 612-436-0464. The dye lab is limited to Tuesday – Saturday rentals, when Textile Center is open to the public, and schedule is based on availability.

Since an understanding of dye and pigment chemistry is necessary, as is the safe handling of chemicals used–and proper clean up–all dye lab users must take a dye lab training in order to use the facility.  In addition, the primary renter for any group rental must have taken (or taught) at least one 3-hour class related to the type of work they intend to do during their rental.

The intentions of the facility are to provide work space for member artists and makers, and to provide a space for our member guilds and special interest groups to gather in community to learn and grow together in their skills in dyeing and surface design. Rentals of the facility for the purposes of teaching income-generating classes for individuals and groups that are not member guilds of Textile Center are not allowed. If you are interested in learning about surface design and textile dyeing, check out our list of upcoming classes by clicking HERE. Please check with Cristin McKnight Sethi if you have questions and to discuss options for your needs.

*If you have not used the dye lab or taken the training in the past year you will be required to retake the training before your rental. Exceptions made for Textile Center instructors or members of our community who have significant experience with dyeing and/or with the Textile Center’s Dye Lab as well as renters who have taken a Textile Center class that includes Dye Lab Training as part of the class content. Please contact Cristin at cmcknightsethi@textilecentermn.org to discuss this further.

Dye lab trainings are members $20 for participation, and the trainings are scheduled monthly. Upcoming trainings are listed below.  Program staff can check on your prior class participation and approve any relational competencies or exceptions, as needed.

Please complete the Dye Lab Rental Agreement HERE.

Exceptions to any of these guidelines can be approved by Cristin McKnight Sethi, Director of Education (cmcknightsethi@textilecentermn.org). Please contact her with any questions.


Rental Requirements

You must be a member, and complete the Dye Lab training prior to rental of the Dye Lab!  Become a member, and check our class schedule for upcoming training dates.

Small Group Rental Rates

Full Day / 10 am – 4 pm; up to 6 hours*

Individual / 1-3 participants $150

Half Day / 10am – 1pm OR 1pm – 4pm;  up to 3 hours

Individual / 1-3 participants $100

*Longer rental periods may be possible for individuals who are working with more complex dyeing processes that require extended periods of lab time. Please contact Cristin at cmcknightsethi@textilecentermn.org to discuss this further. 

Large Group Rental Rates

For Member Guilds, Special Interest Groups, and/or groups of up to 8 people. Primary renter must have completed Dye Lab training, and the guild / special interest group must be a member of Textile Center. All renters and group participants are expected to know how to conduct themselves safely on the premises, and know how to handle materials properly.  Reservations are not final until payment in full is received.

Full Day / 10 am – 4 pm; up to 6 hours

$250 flat rate, for up to 8 participant artists

Half Day / 10am – 1pm OR 1pm – 4pm; up to 3 hours

$180 flat rate, for up to 8 participant artists

Additional Equipment

Use of large 40-gallon dye vat: $35 for members. Training required.

Use of steam closet: $35 for members. Training required.

Cleaning Fee, if not left in excellent condition after rental: $150, minimum

To rent the dye lab and/or adjacent classroom (this is an additional fee), please email bbogue@textilecentermn.org to check available dates and to secure a contract.

Tools and Equipment in the Dye Lab

Safety Equipment

  • Four, independently-controlled ventilation hoods at work stations
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Eye wash station
  • Easy to clean stainless steel and laminate countertops
  • Gas shutoff valves

Use of the following items and equipment are included in your rental fee:

  • Small and large containers and buckets
  • Spoons and measuring cups, stirring tools, scales
  • Pots and pans of all sizes
  • Towels
  • Washer and dryer
  • Ironing boards, irons
  • Two 14 inch gas burners
  • 4 large sinks
  • Hot plates, blender, microwaves
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Reusable drop cloths & tarps
  • Chemicals: soda ash, salt, citric acid, synthrapol, vinegar
  • Gloves and Masks (we recommend that you bring your own reusable ones)
  • Large raised work table and tall stools

The following items are not included in your rental fee:

  • Dyes and chemicals (except those 5 mentioned above).
  • Fabric or other materials to be dyed

Small amounts of dyes and chemicals are available in the Textile Center Shop for purchase.