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GROWING A NATURAL DYE GARDEN

Ellie Fisher All Blog Posts Natural Dye Garden Natural Dyeing

Having threatened for several months to write a blog on what I’ve been up to in the garden, I thought I ought to follow through! I get so much joy from spending time in my garden and i'm keen to see how much I can grow in the space that I have. I'd also like to share my progress and show you what is possible with limited space so that you too can reap the benefits of growing your own dye plants. A couple of years ago I claimed a sunny little patch of the garden that backs onto my...

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HOW TO GET BOLD GREENS FROM DYE PLANTS

Claudia Gosse

 INTRODUCTION Although the natural world envelopes us in green there is, surprisingly, no single natural plant dye that can give a bold, bright green.  There are plenty of plants that yield up yellow dyes, such as dandelion, golden rod, dyer’s chamomile and others which, with a little iron modifier, will give subtle shades of sage, olive and mossy greens.  But to achieve a strident green that would make Robin Hood proud you need to start with blue and overdye with yellow. For those who don't know, Robin Hood is the legendary outlaw of English folklore who famously stole from the...

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INDIGO - KING OF DYES

Claudia Gosse

INDIGO – KING OF DYES How to prepare, use and maintain an indigo vat.    INTRODUCTION Indigofera tinctoria Indigo is truly the King of Dyes.  Dyeing communities around the world have been extracting this intense, natural blue pigment from the leaves of  the Indigofera plant for millennia.  The oldest known indigo-dyed textile in the world was found at an excavation site in Peru in 2009, and is believed to be over 6000 years old. Indigofera is a large genus of over 750 species of flowering plants belonging to the pea family, Fabaceae.  They are widely distributed throughout the tropical and...

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PREPARING PLANT FIBRES FOR NATURAL DYEING

Claudia Gosse All Blog Posts Natural Dyeing Sustainable Textiles

 INTRODUCTION                                    The success of your natural dyeing project will depend on how well the fibres are prepared.  To get rewarding and even dye results it’s necessary for fibres to be clean and free of any impurities, such as the sizings used in the manufacturing process.  This cleaning is known as ‘scouring’, which sounds a little drastic but really just means washing thoroughly. NB: you can only dye 100% natural fibres with natural dyes. Synthetic and mixed fibres will not respond well to natural...

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NATURAL DYEING WITH MADDER – Alkaline Extraction Method

Claudia Gosse Natural Dyeing Sustainable Textiles

Learn how to naturally dye with madder using the alkaline extraction method. Following on from my blog ‘Make the Most of Your Madder – Part 1’ (February 2023) I wanted to try the alkaline method of extracting madder dye, as explained in Jenny Dean’s book ‘Colours From Nature’.  For me Jenny Dean is the Delia Smith of natural dying; easy to follow and reliable with delicious results!

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