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Saturday, July 15, 2006

N is for Natural Dyes

I am fascinated by natural dyeing, though I am forced to admit that this is the only lot I have actually done! It is my homespun, dyed with lemon-scented gum. I used alum as the mordant, it being the only one I had to hand (it's used in swimming pools). Actually getting other mordants has put me off a bit - they would all have to be got mailorder or by trecking across town. Yes, they are poisonous too, but then I keep poisonous dyes in the shed too so the mordants could be stored there.

I am now keen on trying it out with fabrics. I have been reading about rust dyeing, and one of my tutors last semester had done a lot of cloth dyeing with dirt. I met a textile artist last weekend who had been using local plants to great effect, too. Posted by Picasa


ferg said...

Hello sheep rustler! Thankyou for having a go at my comp. I've just been reviewing the entries and so I linked to the entrants to find out more about them.
I've got some bland balls of wool that I would love to have a go at dyeing-in-the-ball. Did you use a particular method?
I did lots of natural dyeing years ago when I first started and the easiest was onion skins. Don't throw them away any more. Just save up the lovely papery bits till you have a bagful.
And last but not least...I love lichen too!
Cheers Gillian

Taphophile said...

That gold is divine. There was a guy selling naturally dyed wool at a fibre market last week. I was blown away that lavender dyes green.

Sue said...

Am well impressed with your natural-dyed wool,it's beautiful.
I blogged my rust-dyed muslin last month - it's fascinating to see it developing. Good luck with your experiments.

shula said...

So does that mean you can buy it at the pool shop.

Very interesting about local plant dyeing. Love to hear more about that.