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I found a page from an old book all about creating vegetable dyes! The author and source are unknown, but the dyes are absolutely gorgeous! These are not just beet juice dyes, they are made to last and come from plants you might find in your own backyard or out on a nature walk. Let's start with dyeing wool, since according to this vegetable dye elder, that is the easiest material to work with, before graduating to silk, linens, and cottons.
What You Need
Materials Wool (to be dyed) Alum (potassium aluminum sulphate) Cream of Tartar Large saucepan or tall pot Container to store treated wool *Pick a color from the list below to find the herb, plant, or bark you will need. Equipment Stovetop
For 500 grams (about 1 pound) of wool. Violet. Color Recipes Each color may require slight alterations to the above recipe. Bluish-green.Prepare the Plant Once you choose a color. Decide on a Color One of the beautiful things about vegetable dyes are the vibrant natural colors you can create! Here are some possible colors: Yellow. Use a smooth stick to turn the wool every now and then. use 50 grams of cream of tartar for the mordant process.Scale Wooden sticks. add the wool and stop stirring. Bluish-grey. Start to boil the water. just keep in mind wet wool is darker than dry wool. Stir regularly. Rosepink 3. boil about 500 grams of birch bark for 2 hours before adding the wool. Treat the Wool For the majority of vegetables dyes. it is important to first treat the wool with a mordant aka a solution to fix dye on the fabric. Remove with smooth sticks. but you can dye the wool immediately after as well. Yellow-Green. Next. dowels. and then place it in a container for safekeeping until dye time! One to two days is ideal for the solution to cure. turn the heat off and leave the wool in the mixture until the water is cold. Once you are satisfied with the color. . 5. Lilac. squeeze out the excess dye. Reddish-yellow. We recommend mixing Alum (potassium aluminum sulphate) and cream of tartar.2 pounds or 1 kilogram of birch leaves. simmer the plant for awhile to let the plant fully disperse into the water. 1. 2. adding the wool once the water is warm. put the plant in cold water and bring it to a slow boil. Fresh birch leaves = Yellow Use 2. Gold. mix 100 grams of alum and 25 grams of cream of tartar together until dissolved in a large saucepan of cold water. Add the Wool Next. Birch Bark = Dull yellow to deep gold First. Brown. Olive Yellow. and then wash the wool thoroughly. 4. Then bring to a boil and then let it simmer for an hour. or knitting needles Rubber gloves Instructions *Please read any special instructions for your specific color before starting this process. Squeeze the warm water out of the wool gently. Once it has boiled. Green. Leave the wool in the mixture until it has acquired the color you desire.
you do not need to use mordant. Then boil the lichen in a large bowl of water for 2-3 hours. Then follow the above recipe. Any other great veggie and plant dye tips out there? . Additional Notes: For lichens. Oak bark = Deep brown Use 500 grams of oak bark. This prevents the flower buds from becoming encrusted in the wool. adding 500 grams of blackberries for the dye. Elderberries = Lilac to violet If you want a lilac color. Privet berries = Bluish-green Use 750 grams of well-bruised privet berries. for a paler color. Pine cones = Reddish-yellow Break up and boil 750 grams of pine cones for several hours. Collect 1 pound of lichen for ever 1 pound of wool. add an extra 25 grams of cream of tartar and 25 grams of salt to the mordant. typically in a bright yellow or pastel green color. Then add 500 grams of elderberries for lilac or violet coloration. remove the wool and wash it thoroughly in cold water. then cool and strain the liquid before adding the wool and boiling again. apply the coloration process to unmordanted wool. and then add thoroughly wetted wool. Heather flower shoots = Olive yellow First. work with mordanted wool. Dog's mercury = Yellow to blue Use 1 kilogram of chopped dog's mercury to produce a yellow color. Dried madder (Rubia peregrina) roots = Rose-pink Use the dried roots for this color. Let it cool. Young bracken shoots = Yellowish green Simmer 500 grams of young bracken shoots for 2 hours before adding the wool. Walnut husks and shells = Dark brown If you want a dark brown. Once the water is cold. that turns blue after boiling it for a long time. Blackberries = Bluish-grey First. make sure the mordant has 50 grams of cream of tartar. Next simmer the young ling/heather flower shoots for several hours. Lichens are those bright fungus-like plants that grow on old walls and roofs as well as dead trees. Elder leaves = Green Use 500 grams of elder leaves. Boil the two together until you get your desired color and then turn off the burners. add some salt to the mordant.
.Select the plant to create your color.