Altrusans dye for a cause

by / 0 Comments / 111 View / August 25, 2015

By Lindsay Starr Platt, The Belton Journal

Saturday morning, more than a dozen ladies showed up at the Baugh Center for Visual Arts on the campus of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor to participate in a workshop to learn how to dye silk scarves. The workshop, sponsored by Altrusa International of Temple, had a fee of $50, which provided one scarf for the participant and another scarf to be donated for the upcoming Art of Peace Festival scheduled for September.

The ladies donned latex gloves as they used procion dye to dip or immerse their silk scarves in. The popular technique for dyeing the scarves was tie-dye style. Scarves could be seen being folded, bunched up or rolled onto pvc pipe.

Different designs were achieved by using golf balls and even wine corks as the secured the folds and rolls with rubber bands.

Three artists led the workshop for the rest of the attendees, who were mostly members of Temple Altrusa.

“This is our first year to do this workshop,” said Barb Sorge, Altrusan. “This is our seventh year to help with the festival; years prior, we have made tie-dye t-shirts and hand painted pinwheels.”

The Art of Peace festival, which will take place at the Cedarbrake Retreat Center in Belton on Sept. 20, is an annual fundraiser for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas.

“The scarves will be sold at our seventh annual festival; we will also have live music, hand painted pinwheels, clay doves made by artist Amy Flinn and poetry readings,” said Helen Kwiatkowski, festival coordinator. “How grateful I am that Altrusa is a sponsor and has been since the beginning.”

Dye was kept hot in crockpots and in pans on hot plates. The attendees would dip their scarves, rinse them out and fold them again to take on a second color. Some scarves could be seen sporting four colors. Attendees could even be seen using syringes to add a splash of color in the right place.

“The best part is when you unfold and take rubber bands of the scarf to see what masterpiece you created,” commented Myrna Hawkins, Altrusan. “Mine wasn’t right the first time; I had to redo it.”

When the scarves had achieved the look the artist wanted, they were hung outside to dry in the sun.

“The hard part really is to decide which scarf you want for yourself and which one to giveaway for the festival,” remarked Sorge.

For more information on the festival, visit