Category: EXPERIMENT

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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Red Madder

Madder is one of the most ancient dyes, and one that is described in pretty much any book on natural dyeing. But every book seems to give a slightly different method for obtaining the sought-after madder red. There’s only one thing to do – experiment! Madder was one of the first natural dyestuffs I tried […]

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Hypogymnia Lichen Windfall

I return from many of my walks with pockets full of lichen windfall. One of the common finds under trees is two slightly different species of Hypogymnia, a good dye lichen. ~ Lichen windfall is perfect for dyeing, since it does no damage to just pick up the fallen lichens. I’m therefore writing a small […]

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An Earthball Study

Earthballs contain a yellow-brown dye, but also a large and annoying amount of tiny, black spores. So I set out to find out if the spores contain any dye or if they could just be discarded. ~ A couple of years ago, I dyed a lot of yarn with earthballs. The color turned out a […]

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Seasonal Color Variation

An experiment with yellow to green tones of birch leaves over the summer. I didn’t see any difference, but most experiments do have different outcomes than expected. ~ A fresh new year calls for a new, big series of dye experiments, but I’m going to begin with an old one that was going on for […]

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Harvest

I’ve finally finished harvesting my dye plants and seeds, and it has been an abundant year in the dye garden. In addition to woad seeds, I’ve also harvested seeds of dyer’s coreopsis. I harvested some of them on September 27th, and a lot more when I removed the last plants on October 24th. I don’t […]

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Amazing Dyeing Failures 2

The topic of my last post was failures in dyeing, and here’s more. First, my most serious and most annoying failure as a natural dyer. 3: Organic Indigo Failure A while back, I experimented a bit with an indigo vat with fructose, but my results were not very convincing, in the sense that the amount […]

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Amazing Dyeing Failures 1

Failure in natural dyeing is commonly defined as not getting the result you expected. Beige, off white, baby yellow and other tones of grime are all examples of colors I have made no attempt to acheive, and yet, I have a big pile of skeins just like that. But there’s actually a lot to be […]

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