Natural Dye Journal – End of Summer Flora

There has been a bounty of natural dye plants around our property the past few weeks.

Between gathering flowers and fulfilling custom orders for our creative metal business, we have been quite busy.

As the temperature cools and the daylight hours fade, we are taking advantage of as much outside time as possible.

Posts may be short in the coming weeks, with updates once our outdoor activities turn indoors.

For now, a synopsis of the most recent findings.

. . .

This time we used the following flowers, which were all found on our property:

Crape Myrtle (top left)

Pokeberry (top right)

Unknown Orange Wildflower (bottom left)

 Marigold(bottom right)

. . .

- Flowers were collected, put into an unspecified amount of water, and set to a low heat.

(A thermometer is a must for this, do not let temperatures rise over 175-185 degrees)

- Dye vat was heated and cooled several times over the course of the afternoon, and left to sit overnight to strengthen.

-During this process, the dye-ables were pre-soaked in Soda Ash solution, based on measurement suggestions from Dharma Trading Co.

(please note that we suggest using Alum as a pre-soak. The Soda Ash is just a backup we are using for the time being)

-Dye-ables were heated and cooled in dye vats several times over the course of 24 hours.

- After being removed from the dye bath, the dye-ables were immediately taken outside in the shade to hang for a couple hours.

- Dyed fabric / fiber was hand washed and line dried.

*The fiber did fade after this first initial washing; soon we will post information on how colorfast these dyes are once washed several times.*

** A post-soak in a vinegar / water / rusty metal solution will deepen the purples obtained from the Crape Myrtle.

The longer you leave the solution to soak, the deeper purple/ slate gray you get.

** Pokeberry dyed fiber washed out to a faded pink – overall we are not satisfied with results – will try this again with a few adjustments.

*Marigolds dyed a faint yellow, very soft and subtle – colorfast when washed

*Mystery Orange Wildflower dyed a buttery yellow, that turned from olive to army green if you do a post-soak in the rusty vinegar solution.

When pre-soaked, this wildflower will give off acorn brown and rustic orange tones…

The cornucopia of colors is increasing!

 Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, or if you have tried this before.

I would love to see your results.

6 Responses to Natural Dye Journal – End of Summer Flora

  1. Thanks much! the pink is for a collaborative project I’m working on for Breast Cancer Awareness in October, looking forward to making some goodies for these amazing women I’ve met :)

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