Natural dyes – extracting colour and dyeing wool at The Tallet studio

As a ‘run through’ for the first Natural Dyeing workshop I will be teaching at The Bothy in Cirencester on Saturday August 12th, I extended an invitation to students who had been on one of my weaving courses, to come and spend a day making and using dyes extracted from natural sources.

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Dye was extracted from dried dyestuffs including madder (reds/oranges/pinks) and Logwood (purples/greys/browns) and from a diverse range of seasonal fresh plants including Weld (yellows), asparagus leaves (pale green) and white Achillea (blue/grey), plus as many more as we had jars to try! Wool samples pre-prepared with mordant were dyed and some over-dyed in a second colour producing a subtle two-toned yarn.

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My plan for the students to dye a 30g skein of wool in their favourite dye(s) fell by the wayside as they wanted to keep extracting colour from new plants, so they took this mordanted wool home.

Within a couple of days I started receiving emails with photos of the plants they had tried and the fabulous (and sometimes unexpected) colours they had dyed their wool.

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