Vibrant colour from summer plant dyes


Running a natural dyeing workshop in the summer is the best time of year as the students have a vast array of plants in full bloom to extract colour from. This day of alchemy was held at The Bothy @ Vanessa Arbuthnott’s fabric showroom in Cirencester a couple of weekends ago.

Will wild Golden Rod give the same colour as the cultivated garden variety?

What colour (if any) will white flowers give when boiled up?

Will deep pink Dahlia flowers give the same colour dye? The answer:-  it produced the zingy orange (in the centre of the image) on the wool we used to create a colour reference.

The students were guided in the preparation of dyestuffs, fresh, dried and concentrated extracts; with the mordanting of the wool to ensure the dyes didn’t wash out; the varied dyeing methods and processes, then played with colour by dyeing a second colour over the first using all the coloured dye-baths we had produced during the day. Each student chose their favourite colours to dye 3 skeins of British Wool to take home.