Mother Earth Living

Garden Spaces: Make Natural Dyes

By The Herb Companion staff
June/July 2010
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Make natural dyes from plants with the help of these online resources:

Homespun Wool and Natural Dyes: Learn more about mordanting, which is a chemical proces that enables colors to stick to wool rather than wash out and fade. Most of the time, you need to use mordant with your dyes. 
Mordanting for Natural Dyeing: There are general rules for mordanting. Discover what they are and learn more about six different types of mordants.
Make Natural Dyes: Sunset magazine offers do-it-yourself instructions to make your own natural dyes using onion skins and flowers, mordant-free.
How to Make Natural Dyes: Check out wikiHow for step-by-step instructions on how to make natural dyes, also mordant-free.
Instructions and Classes: Visit even more links about natural dye instructions and classes courtesy Natural Dyes International, a non-profit organization for research and education on natural dyes and pigments.

Read More

To find out more about the process of mordanting and other steps for natural dying, try these two excellent volumes by Rita Buchanan.
A Dyer’s Garden (Interweave Press, 1995)
A Weaver’s Garden (Dover Publications, 1999)


Kathleen Halloran is a contributing editor living and gardening in beautiful Austin, Texas. 

Click here for the main article,  Garden Spaces: Plant a Dye Garden .








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