A Dyer's Day Out

Yesterday was huge! It was our local spinning group's annual dye day. It takes place in a member's home - or more accurately, carport. Where once vehicles sat, pots and cauldrons now steam away over portable camp stoves. Trestle tables are out along with everything possible you can imagine needed to apply colour to fibre and make it stick!

A mixture of wool specific commercial dyes along with natural dyes - think branches into a pot - were all part of the day. So many colours, so many combinations, I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Above, the eucalyptus dye pot. Nicholii is the species that seems to be the favourite here, turning everyday cream and fawn fibre into the most vibrant burnt orange shades. Eucalyptus dyeing does not require a mordant I have since discovered. Just ask me how I know - I learned the hard way!

Below, mordanting in alum in preparation for natural dye baths including indigo, peach leaves and logwood.

The peach leaf dye bath takes several hours of steaming to release it's colour..

..but the results are worth it! First up is a lemon yellow and then, with the addition of another mordant, the fibre turns a delicate shade of green, below..
Gorgeous! It's making me eye off my nectarine tree in a whole new light. I wonder if peach and nectarine leaves are interchangeable...
Seeing everyone's creations come out of their pouches, pots and net bags and hung up to dry would have to be my most favourite part of these dyeing days..

Indigo is my new favourite dye! Seeing the fibre turn from a yellow-green to bright blue once it hits the oxygen outside of the simmering dye water is really a sight to behold. Amazing!!
How can it be possible that nature can provide us with a colour such as this?

My humble collection to take home. The handpainted bluey green skein second from the left is my favourite of the bunch.

You can read about last year's dyeing day HERE. 

Do you dye things? Maybe you use natural dyes? Which one is your favourite?


  1. they're extroadinary, what an awesome day, I love the indigo die, what a fun experiment.

  2. I am really interested in dying from nature. I have never done it before, but I certainly would like to give it a try. Your blog has really inspired me, in many different ways!

  3. Oooh! This all looks fantastic, but that eucalyptus dying reAlly caught my eye! I have some cotton pants (white ones, so effectively unwearable) that I want to dye, and had heard of dying with eucalyptus.... A few pointers would be great! :)

  4. I haven't dyed anything in a long time. However, it was fun to look at your results.

  5. How very creative. Love the natural colors.

  6. What a lovely day! I would love to do this.
    Your wool is wonderful!

  7. I dye yarn and wool for a living, but have only dabbled in natural dyes. I think this will be the year I invest some time into natural dyeing. I'm envious of your dye day - love seeing all the results - gorgeous colors all hanging out together!

  8. Looks like a really happy day all round and nature knows best...how beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot.com.au

  9. What a fun day! I love the pale yellow/green one. Your post reminds me of a lovely holiday to Omeo we had with friends when I was about 6 years old. One of the women in the group kept stopping and collecting various leaves and berries and lichens and then spent the weekend over a big pot dying wool. Isn't that funny, I had completely forgotten about that until now!


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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