Adventures in Natural Dyeing

It's been quite a while since I updated here, but I plan to change that and make an effort over the coming months. Starting with A lovely workshop I attended this last weekend.
I have learned how to dye yarns years ago, so thought it might be fun to do a refresher course, but instead of chemical dyes... natural dyes.

It was a lovely sunny day and a natural botanical garden was a perfect backdrop for this workshop. It took place outside as we were using fire pits, but the shop and base was this lovely barn with a beautifully flowering sedum roof.

We spent the first hour or so being told about the process, then were sent off into the gardens to collect our materials. Firstly wood for the fire and sacks for holding our plants.

Then we collected Horsetail weed, Sheeps Sorrel and Birch leaves.

We also used Onion skins but we didn't have to collect those. The workshop leader had brought those for us. We could choose if we wanted to dye fleece, rovings or yarn depending on if we intended to spin, felt or knit/crochet with them. I decided to dye all yarns and choose a supersoft 100% merino.

We then added a mordant to some of the yarns while we cooked our plants in pots over the fire.

Then it was lunch time. The workshop leader had prepared a homemade vegetarian feast! We had a chive and cheese wholemeal quiche, cous cous salad, greek salad, organic cheeses, homemade read and nettle soup! At this point we had a little time to look around the barn shop and make a few purchases.

Our yarns were then added to the dye bath pot and we waited eagerly for the magic to happen. After  an hour or so we removed are yarns, let them cool then rinsed them well before hanging them out to dry.


It was lovely to revisit an old skill from a different angle. I very much enjoyed the day and have plans to do a little experimenting of my own at home soon!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a fabulous day! Can't wait to see what you make with your lovely coloured yarns!