Let’s Hear it for Natural Dyes

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Having spent last week learning how to pick dye plants and make natural dye colours I am now a fan. 

The colours have a natural subtlety which meant I was more concerned with putting them side by side to show off the contrasts, and less with working with the carders to blend them together so they didn’t look too ‘flat’. 

We used a combination of plants from the surrounding area eg. bracken, tree lichen (of which there was lots as the air was so clear) and broom, bought in natural dyes such as Madder (my favourite), Logwood and Indigo and everyday household ingredients – who knew that onion skins could turn white silk threads into something that looked more like gold…

There is something wonderfully primeval about washing fleeces in the open air, mordanting wood (to help the dye take) over a log fire and then dying it with something you have picked yourself.  By doing a first, second and sometimes even third dye plus adding part of some colours to the indigo pot we ended up with over thirty shades and colours.

So thanks again to Rosie and the team at Wild Rose Escapes.  I shall be back….

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