the magic of dyeing with plants

horsetail in my basket

horsetail in my basket

I love to create beautiful special items that are a little different from most and I love to do this ethically, sustainably and with as little waste or negative impact as I can. One of the ways to create beautiful drums is to dye them using organic materials found in my garden or on walks.

This time I foraged for some horse tail. one of the oldest plant species we have and a pretty robust plant too. anywhere where its on the damp side around here you can bet your boots that horse tail will spring up and flourish.

The dye from it wasn’t strong enough to impact a hide but will do protein based fibres (wool, alpaca, silk etc) and I used it to dye a very special scarf the most gentle beautiful beige.

beige shawl with knitting needles

beige shawl with knitting needles

Its always very exciting to see what comes out of a dye vat and even more exciting to see how it reacts to different materials! With summer here in full force (the English way obviously, very very wet!) I am trying different organic materials to dye and am continually surprised by my findings.

So if you have a plant, or tree, or funghi that you are particularly fond of and would like to incorperate into your tools using it to dye with may be a fab way to do so!


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