3 May 2011

three dyes, two yellows

I have dyeings to show you today. Not one, not two, but three !!

The first was made very quickly, a couple of weeks ago, after hubby had peeled a beetroot. (beta vulgaris) I have some fibers already mordanted (with alum) so we gave it a little go. Here is the result, a soft & subtle beige.

hot dyeing with beta vulgaris (peels)

The two other dyes were made this past Saturday, right after we came back home from my inlaws'. (since we picked the natural materials for dyeing, over there) But first we had to mordant fibers. I decided to mordant enough materials for making six dyeings. And this time, we also mordanted cotton prints, so we can see how it'll dye too, and I'll probably use them too.

before mordanting

The first material I used is something I showed you in the last posts (on my regular blog) ... it was ribwort plantain / plantago lanceolata. We picked leaves only, and it grows so abundantly (wild) here, that we really did no harm at all. It actually grows a bit everywhere, even in urbanized areas (I've already seen that). So here are the photos of the dye bath & of the results.

plantain painting

ribwort plantain / plantain lancéolé / plantago lanceolata - dyebath

plantago lanceolata - results

A lovely yellow, soft on the cottons & linen, and a little stronger on silk & silk yarn. (as usual) But a nice one, I think.

The second material I used for the other (and last) dye, was a plant I already used in the past, for dyeing, but at a different stage of its growth. I'm talking about (wild) fennel / foeniculum vulgare. This time, instead of using the tops (flower heads), we used the feathery leaves that are abundant & that are very fragrant. On the photo below, you can spot the fennel leaves AND the plantain leaves !

fennel leaves & plantain leaves

And now the dye bath and photos of the results.

foeniculum vulgare dye bath

foeniculum vulgare

foeniculum vulgare

foeniculum vulgare

And for you to see the difference of the yellows between the two dyes, I took a comparison shot, which I think is interesting to see.


Plantain on the left, fennel on the right.

And lastly, but still related to my dyeings, here are the last business cards (in recycled paper, mind you) I ordered from Moo, a couple of weeks ago, when they were having a 25% off sale. They will ship with the orders from the new shop, from now on.

new cards

They are credit card sized, and I have enough room below my infos (on the back) for writing a short message, and will save me to include an extra card with it.


  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with natural dying. So inspiring.

  2. Beautiful yellows! I'll have to add ribwort plantain to my list too - there's plenty here.

  3. gah!!!!!! i am so freaking excited to have found you!!!!! I have been looking into natural dye techniques and how-to's for fabric, particularly silk and thus far most of the advice i've found says it's too hard to get good results so don't bother, just use store bought dyes. to heck with that! my friend shared this post in google reader this morning and i have been pouring over your posts and flickr images all day. :) Thank you thank you thank you! in seeing the results you have been able to get, even in your "less successful" attempts, i am completely encouraged to try my hand at it. They are all beautiful and just the colors i was dreaming of for the project i am working on! i hope it's ok, i gushed all over on my blog and linked/shared a few of your images. if you'd rather i not, i'll take them off immediately. :)

  4. Delightful yellows! Have you tried bronze fennel? I have some coming back up from last year and intend to give it a try in June.


Thank you very much for taking time to leave a word or two, I would love to know what you think ! :)