By: Julie Sinden
The world of natural dyes is vast and varied, and this kit gives the beginner dyer a perfect introduction into the beauty and wonder of creating colour from nature.
Included are the ingredients to dye around 4 metres of lightweight fabric, or around 600g of yarn, light to medium shades of pink, orange, yellow and purple. In other words, you will be able to dye 1 metre each of the four colours, for a total of 4 metres. Small garments or other items can also be used - it is up to you!
The dyes can only be used to dye natural fibres, not synthetic, but can be used with either plant (i.e. cotton) or animal (i.e. wool or silk).
In order to be colourfast, fibres must first be mordanted, or treated with a soluble metal. Plant (cellulose) fibres such as cotton must also be treated with a tannin.
This kit includes alum (a foodsafe ingredient made of potassium aluminum sulfate) as the mordant, and tannin powder made from the galls formed on oak trees.
It also contains logwood chips (haematoxylon campechianum), which yield gorgeous soft purples, osage sawdust (maclura pomifera) for yellow, ground madder root (rubia tinctoria) for lovely peachy orange shades, and cochineal (dactylopius coccus) for pink.
Comprehensive instructions in the kit will take you through the step by step process of preparing your fibres and dyeing with these dried dyestuffs.
Contents: 90 g alum, 30g gallnut, 15g logwood, 15g osage, 15g madder, 7g cochineal