More about Dyeing


Wool yarn immersed in Marigold Heads July 2016 

The Spring Equinox is now behind us, days are slightly longer than nights and so garden dyeing can begin again. Perfect time, as we’ve just been having some lovely sunny weather.

The wool yarn has been in that jar since last July until a week ago. I expected orange but got pale green. I wonder if that is because I didn’t rinse the jar beforehand? The vinegar from the pickles may have made a big difference to the outcome. It’s a happy accident anyway.

This is the orange silk skirt after being simmered in (used) tea bags. I keep them in the freezer to stop them going mouldy before I have enough to work with.


After tea dyeing on the left, original colour right


Herringboned hem – made to show on the outside

The colour is much better now but it’s in the dark awaiting a brown dye. I picked up pine cones from the garden this morning with the idea that they might provide the dye I need.  More to follow on that.


Curing in the sun

Looks like a medic’s uniform? A tunic made from part of an old cotton sheet with the express intention of dyeing it with various materials over the summer. I think the fact that the sheet has been washed many times will help it receive colour better but I’m taking no chances. The thread is cotton straight from the reel and it hasn’t been washed before – it would be horrible to have bright white thread on a hand dyed garment. It’s had an alkali dip (washing soda) this afternoon, to be followed by a protein dip tonight (slightly sour milk saved specially in the freezer). I’ll do it all over again a few times before I dye it with the first layer – probably daffodil flowers that have died off.

In my dyeing adventures I’m using India Flint’s book “Eco Colour” as a guide. I love her work and I’m enjoying using some of her methods adapted as best I can for the vegetation and less sunny climes of Mid Wales.

Have a fun week.

Thanks for dropping by,

Norma x




Filed under Clothes, dyeing, India Flint, recycling, sewing, slow dyeing, solar dyeing

25 responses to “More about Dyeing

  1. Deb

    This is very interesting, be waiting to see more.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the color of the tea dyeing. Can’t wait to see how the white top turns out!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Norma, can you advise me? I recently bought some bright white satin ribbon. I want to use it for shoelaces for a pair of shoes that are a grey-white, not ivory. I was thinking of using Earl Grey tea – as it has the purply undertones – to get the shine of it, and to get it a little greyer. Any feedback or tips?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think tea will dye any type of fabric but if it really matters I’d try a small amount first. I make really strong tea – leave it to stew then put damp fabric in and warm up again. Leave hours. Dry, put away. Rinse a day or two later.
      Dry in the shade. Love to know how you get on – if silk ribbon in will be beautiful


  4. Hi Norma. I will follow your adventures during my Spring break. Did you pickle vegetables and include yarn in the solution that’s shown in the first photo? I’m not clear about that one.

    The tea-dyed orange silk fabric looks very rich and I love how neat your herringbone stitches are. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of how dried daffodils work out colorwise for dyeing.


  5. I haven’t had a lot of success with India Flint. I am loving what you are doing with the dyeing. what mordant do you use for your wool? I am struggling to find alum here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Enjoying the Slowness | She Sews You Know

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