Natural Dyeing

I spent a lovely day this week learning about dyeing using plants, flowers – and anything else that came to hand, to be honest!

The course took place at the Weald and Downland Museum, which I seem to write about fairly regularly.  The tutor was Caroline, who has her own website Knitnaks where she sells her handcrafted items, some of which she brought with her:


We tried using lots of different combinations in our experiments – probably the hardest part of the day was keeping track of the ‘recipes’!  We tried onion skins, rosehips, privet, golden rod as well as more everyday items such as tea and frozen berries.  The Museum’s gardener, Carlotta, provided a tour of some of the gardens and we made good use of some freshly picked flowers.

Having made our dye solution, we all added our yarn/fabric/fibre samples to the pot.  You can see in the photo on the right that despite all going in the same solution for the same amount of time the way the colour came out varied enormously.


We were constantly surprised and possibly a little over-excited by the end results, as you may be able to tell from this video

By the end of the day we had all built up quite a range of colours – I used some mohair that I had spun which seemed to take the colour quite well:

Apart from the dyeing, it was lovely to be able to walk around the Museum without having to be responsible for anyone else!  Here’s another collage, just because I had the time to take lots of photos for a change:



6 responses to “Natural Dyeing

  1. I cannot wait to learn how to dye with natural dyes. I am moving to Egypt next month so I am going to experiment with dyes there and see what happens!! My husband’s family have their own sheep so I have regular supplies of wool. I can play to my heart’s content!!!
    I love receiving your blogs. Thank you so much.

  2. gorgeous colours!!

  3. I remember the open air museum well. I lived in Horsham for a good while as a child with school visits there and then I lived in Billingshurst (after University) and we are now in Horsham again. You say you go to the spinning group in Chichester, and I don’t spin, but I do knit and am tinkering away at knitting design. It seems, though, that we are relatively local to each other! What a tiny universe it is!

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