Dyes from the Garden
It has been a goal of mine to grow and harvest my own dyes. I love the process of being able to do something from start to finish. Dyeing my farm grown fibers was part of the process that I was missing. So, I started planning and growing a dye garden. While the garden was growing, I found and harvested several dyes that have been growing on our property for years! I am in no way an expert on dying, only a beginner, but I do want to share with you what I have discovered and learned along the way.
Elderberries & Cherries with a alum mordant.
Elderberry and cherry juice is so deep in color and stains everything it touches....I know this from years of pitting cherries and it staining my kitchen towels. We were blessed with an abundance of cherries and elderberries this last year, and I saved back the juice to dye with. I will admit, I think the juice started to ferment in my refrigerator, before I found the time to dye. The color of the yarn turned out to be a very soft pinkish lavender. Click on the photo below to read more.
Rose petals with an alum mordant.
My husband surprised me with a dozen beautiful hot pink roses. They started to wilt.....so, I decided to use the petals to dye! Put the petals in water and simmered out the color, strained off the wilted, colorless petals, and look at the ruby colored dye bath! I was one excited woman, the color was so pretty! Very much to my surprise, when I put the yarn in the dye bath, it instantly started turning yellow, not pink, yellow!
Walnuts no mordant needed.
As a kid it was one of my chores to pick up walnuts under the trees before the yard was mowed. We hated this task. Oh, how things have changed! Picking up walnuts to dye with is so much more fun! Click on the photo below to read more.