Crafting Sustainability

It’s obvious, if we want to pass on a world that’s worth living in, every small effort towards sustainability helps. In this post, I’m sharing a few examples of how to dye with nature rather than with toxic chemicals:

1 Using plum pits to dye fiber

2 Adding contrast with last year’s marigold-dyed yarn

3 Experimenting with Boston Ivy



All these dye stuffs are leftovers from my immediate surroundings. For all of them, I use the same procedure:

1 The dye stuff is in a big enamel pot with water. It’s cooked for an hour, then cooled down for 8 - 48 hours. (I don’t think it needs to cool down for a long time, but I forgot about the pot.)

2 Remove the dye stuff with sieves.

3 Place fiber into the dye pot and reheat.



Like last year Dyeing Natural Mauve Tones I came to the conclusion that I like the more violet tone of cotton with no pre-mordant best.



What I learned this year is that using soy milk as a pre-mordant for linen makes a huge difference: Linen, soaked in soy-milk and then dried, accepted the dye stuff very well. Look at the deep tones.



Last year with Tunisian Crotchet, I combined many types of fibers in a scarf (see blog post What IF? ) Now I’m adding the Japanese plum-dyed linen as contrast.


My house is covered in Boston Ivy. We regularly need to trim it to now grow into the gutters and onto the roof where it would become a fire hazard. I started a dye pot in my usual fashion but the resulting liquids very pale. When I submerged the fiber and slowly reheated it, nothing really happened. So I added a couple of green ivy berries (which left marks on the fabric) and a few Dahlia leaves.



In the photos, you see the original fiber and the dyed one. Conclusion: for me it’s not really worth the effort, although I did like the stronger contrast in the wool mixture. (Probably, it was cotton-wool, not silk-wool as the label says.)



Thanks for sharing this journey!

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