Overdye effects: depth of shades vary by starting tone.

By a change of mind, or by accident, sometimes we end up with yarns that we no longer like the color of. Often, this can be a great opportunity to create a new custom color. In a previous post I discussed over-dyeing a variegated yarn to unify the color...

Dyeing wool with black hollyhocks: blue made easy

This year has afforded several opportunities to try new-to-me natural dyes, and this week I’m discussing my first trial dyeing with black hollyhocks. The flowers resemble a very dark purple, verging on black in the center of the flowers. Use the petals only for dyeing. If you want to...

How to overdye a piece of clothing: tips for success

Sometimes, we end up owning a piece of clothing that we like the fit of, but we’re not happy with the color. Or, perhaps it’s something that’s hard to match in an outfit. With some inexpensive materials you can overdye fabrics in natural materials (wool, silk, linen, and cotton)...

Overdye Yarn: How to shift shades for a happier result

A couple of weeks ago, I shared an experiment for dyeing yarn with food coloring. The results were interesting, but I decided the yarn didn’t have a cohesive, finished look. So, it’s back to the dye pot this week. Overdyeing can rescue failed dye experiments if you’re careful about...

Dye wool with Queen Anne’s Lace for a subtle antique hue

Queen Anne’s Lace has long been known as an herbal remedy and natural dye source. The shades can range from yellows to greens. In this first experiment we got a very pale shade because the concentration of plant material was quite low. Gather a larger amount of flower heads...

Dye Wool with Mullein a Herbaceous Biennial

As soon as we started to build our pasture for the sheep, I encountered something that looked like Lamb’s Ear, but wasn’t. We didn’t know what it was at first, but noticed the sheep didn’t like to eat it, so we set about trying to eradicate it from our...

Dye wool with madder

Madder root, or Rose Madder, is a traditional woody shrub that has been cultivated and used for thousands of years to create red tones. While I’ve used other sources to create red, I’ve found this one to be the most reliable. However, it is temperature sensitive, so carefully attention...

Dye with Goldenrod for Vivid Yellow

Goldenrod is a fantastic source of saturated, yellow dye, and one of the plants that I recommend starting with if you are new to natural dyeing. Step 1: Prepare the yarn. Mordant the wool with alum. I use a 10% by weight-of-goods proportion of alum to wool. Botanical Colors...

Dyeing Yarn with Jewelweed, Native to North America

Jewelweed is a native North American plant that grows in many climates, usually near wet areas and along river banks. In the video, I share a method for creating beautiful natural tangerine dye using this abundant natural dye source. I first learned about jewelweed as a dye source from...

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