Wednesday, May 23, 2018
The Natural Dye Pot
I admire all the wonderful dyers in our industry. And I know I'm not alone! I've seen you at the hook-ins drooling over all the gorgeous perfectly dyed wool for sale!
From time to time I dabble in the dye pot, and that's when I really really appreciate all the wonderful dyers out there! 😁
I've been reading a wonderful book by Sasha Duerr called Natural Color. Oh my goodness! The pictures are so beautiful. They will make you want to dye with everything you can get your hands on. To prove my point, I've got a stockpile of avocado pits in my freezer along with orange rinds and this weekend I collected weeds! Now she doesn't mention my weed but the book is inspiring and why not, I'm on a roll!
I consulted a few weed identification sites and have kind of determined my weed is broadleaf dock. Or maybe it's some sort of sorrel, but anyway I collected it and I love the color I got. Since this weed was listed as a mordant as well as a dye, I used it as both. One pot, no fuss! Love it. First I started soaking the leaves in a pot of hot water out in the sunshine (that one day we mysteriously got in a string of rainy days) but then I got impatient and put it on the stovetop.
When it was done stewing, I left it to cool overnight.
When I opened up the dryer to see what shade my wool had turned, I loved it!
I think it would hook up some lovely dirty sheep
(so maybe the plant is sheep sorrel 😉)
You can see the effect of the dye in the picture below. Top and bottom are the original wools. I think it's a very pleasant prim neutral.
Lesson learned: Before someone whacks your weeds with a trimmer, harvest first!