Category: DYEING

WOAD 2019

There is a handful of dye plants that should be found in any dye garden. Woad is one of those, in my opinion. Woad is one of the very old cultivated dye plants – in Denmark, it has been cultivated since more than 2000 years ago. So although the plant gives rise to much less […]

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CUTCH

Cutch extract has a huge tannin content, making it almost universally useful to the natural dyer. It can be used both as a mordant and a dye. Cutch is an extract from the acacia tree, and it has almost as many applications as it has names: cutch, catechu, kath, seesiat, kasu, cacho, terra japonica…. The […]

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ICE BLUE

Leaves from Japanese indigo and woad can be for a very rapid blue dye without adding anything else. The leaves just have to be fresh picked and you need to work quickly on ice! During last summer, I experimented a bit with ice dyeing, which is a well known method for dyeing with fresh Japanese […]

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COCHINEAL of the CANARIES

Cocheneal is truly an amazing insect, with its huge content of red dye. Along with madder, indigo, and yellow from local plants, it allows the natural dyer to dye all the colors of the rainbow. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in present-day Mexico in 1519, they were on a treasure hunt – for gold and […]

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MADDER on LINEN

Warm summer weather doesn’t exactly make you want to knit wool. So I’ve started dyeing Midsommer, a thin 3-ply pure linen yarn. So far, I’ve mostly dyed wool, and dyeing plant fibres really is something completely different. Textiles made from linen are known way back in ancient times, and the oldest find of linen textile […]

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MUSHROOM DYES of 2017

The summer of 2017 was cold and wet in Denmark, and gave way to a fall season with an abundance of dye mushrooms. 2018 is already getting old, but I haven’t finished dyeing with all my mushrooms from 2017 until now. 2017 was a really good year for dye mushrooms. And edible ones, too. In […]

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MADDER & CHALK

Most sources agree that you need chalk to unlock the true reds of madder. I’ve always had a difficult time reconciling that with my own results, so experiments were called for. ~ I spent the past summer with a lot of experimental dyeing, and one of my themes was how chalk affects madder red. Earlier […]

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MADDER’S FAMILY

Madder has several relatives that are also rich in useful reds. These plants are native here in Denmark, and have been used as red dyes a very long time back. Believe it or not, the year is drawing to a close. So, I want to try to summarize all the many dyeing experiments I did […]

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Tansy Experiments

Among some natural dyers, tansy is seen as quite boring. It’s a common plant, easy to find, easy to dye with, and it contains the so-common yellow – just like so many other plants. But tansy has a long cultural history, and its yellow dye is of high quality! ~ Tansy’s common name is simply […]

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Dyeing with Dried Japanese Indigo Leaves

The easiest way to save Japanese indigo is to dry the leaves. This is also the only option, really, when you grow a small amount of plants. ~ In traditional Japanese dyeing with Japanese indigo, the harvested leaves were composted (fermented) in a very specific way, sprinkling the leaf mass with water and turning it […]

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