Monday, February 4, 2013

Dyeing with Plants

Plant-dyeing is easy and rewarding. It is a wonderful project for families, classes and groups of children and adults. We always say that plant dyeing is a bit of science and a bit of art -- and, always just a bit of a mystery! Part of the fun is seeing what kinds of colors will emerge each time.

Colors will vary, depending on the quality of the water, the freshness of the plants, the plant source, the weather, and more. Overdyeing is also rewarding -- dye with one color, then dip into another color to create a third color. Will yellow from onion skins and then a dip in the pink Brazilwood make orange? Hmmm....

Plant dyeing may be done indoors, but is usually easier to do in groups outside . Have space for a table with cook stoves and pots, a space for bins of water with mordant, a hose for rinsing, and a spot to hang dyeables safely for drying.

Jennifer recently had the pleasure of leading a workshop at the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education's annual conference at Steiner College in Fair Oaks, CA. We dyed yards of silk gauze with onion skins, Brazilwood, logwood, cochineal (which are bugs that live on plants!), and copper. Beautiful!

To learn more, we highly recommend Griffin Dyework's eBook on dyeing, available in our Etsy shop. If possible come to one of Griffin Dyework's Fiber Frolics or the annual Dye and Fiber Retreat in Southern California! This year, the retreat is June 14-17.

1 comment:

momto5 said...

they look so beautiful. :)