Friday, 29 May 2015

Eco Dyeing- Natural dyes

I bought a bag of small wool balls, all one colour in a very neutral soft pink/ shell toned. The colour wasnt displeasing , it just wasnt anything. So I decided to try some eco dyeing. I bought some purple carrots for dinner the same day and used one (just to see if they tasted any different to the run of the mill orange carrots).  I thought they actually had a stronger flavour which the second child, 18 year old, was not pleased with. Anyway the purple juice from the carrot looked inviting so I grabbed a ball and dipped it in the carrot juices.
 Pomegranates dried on the tree give a nice yellow  hue

The beach this afternoon, silvery afternoon colours as I drove past on the school pick up run.

Subtle differences in colours. I love the soft muted tones that are obtained from natural eco dyes. Berries from the front yard start off purple in colour but give off a pink tone, pomegranate gives yellow  and a second dousing in the berry dye after cooking some more gives off a deeper pink/purple

 Top to bottom - Purple carrot , pomegranate, 2nd dipped berry from the front yard

Growwingg collection

Beetroot dipped
 Still drying beetroot dye

I probably have enough for a small blanket, maybe another bag ??? Still have to wait for all the wool to dry properly, it hasn't been sunny enough to dry everything completely this afternoon


  1. I like all of them but am especially fond of the beet colour. You are such a crafty woman, full of sparkling ideas. I think you are a very busy bee, aren't you?

    The sea picture is absolutely stunning. I am afraid I don't have any idea what you mean by "school pick up run". What's that?

    Is it this your wine tasting weekend? Have lots of fun (and wine of course)!


    1. School pick up run...driving in the car the same way every time to pick up daughter from school
      Wine ..funny you should mention it because I went back out to the farmers market at Willunga with my friend Richmal and proceeded to lunch and then wine tasting, such a decadent day and lots of nice food , wine and scenery.
      The beetroot dye has been washed out of the wool a bit (rain) so I might have to re do the beet dyeing.
      Have an excellent weekend and party yourself.

  2. I love to visit and see what you are up to in the crafting department. The yarns look lovely and that beach photo, sigh, gorgeous!!!

  3. What lovely yarns and so inspiring. I've thought of trying my hand at some eco dying of wool roving as it's something I know my son would enjoy and then we could also try and spin it for either knitting or crafting. As a matter of interest were the carrots you used purple through to the core? I've bought and grown purple carrots here and they are always just purple skinned and the normal orange in the middle and don't tend to yield very coloured juices as a result.

    1. Hi Paula , I cant remember if have replied to you from my phone,so you might have receive two answers. The carrots I bought from a grocers and are almost black in colour the whole way through. The next time I am there I will ask the name of the carrot and will get back to you. (they keep on surprising me with wonderful variations of colour). Hopefully I should let you know this week. Cheers Monique

  4. Wow I love your natural colours!! Do they need to be fixed in any way to make them permanent?

    1. Hi Trixi , sorry to take so long to reply. Natural dyes are more likely to fade and not hold to materials. Using a mordant before dyeing can aide colour to adhere and therefore last longer. The longer the material is allowed to sit in the dye and then rest, will also aide the dyes to stay. India Flint has some really good books out on eco dyeing and full of inspiration. Most of the time it is a matter of trial and error. Natures errors can sometimes work out to be the most exciting of things. I dont know if there is an industrial fixative you can buy to make colours stayfast, but somehow I think this defeats the purpose of recycling yarns and dyeing them. I buy wool off cut/ odd balls from op shops and dye them. Lots of small balls are still great for crochet projects and cost little. The cushion I made cost $5 for the yarn and $4 for wool backing
      Good luck with your dyeing endeavours. Cheers Monique


I enjoy hearing from you and look forward to your comments