Natural Dyes

Firstly sorry its being a while,  lots happening and the day to day stuff to deal with.  There has been and continues to be a lot of emphasis on sustainability within the textile industry.  I am starting to do some research on the whole area of natural dyes.  Dyes made from plants or crushed up animals in the case of probably the most commonly known products.  Madder and cochineal.  It interesting how the initial impression is that industry has given up on these products,  but the craft and related cottage type industrys seem to be adopting the idea of natural dyes whole heartedly.  I would imagine that this is purely due to the fact that it is difficult to get the volumes or consistency when it come to natural dyes that can so easily be achieved with their synthetic counter parts.  When you look at what you have in your back garden though it is amazing what a source of colour this can be.  Unless you have concreted over your garden and then your options are very much limited.  But for those people with a more traditional approach to horticulture or even a well stocked kitchen cupboard.  The following maybe of interest if you get to Saturday night have not got a thing to wear and just want to jazz up your old wardrobe with a quick bit of dyeing.Orange – Onion Skins, Carrots or Turmeric Pink – Strawberries, Cherries, Raspberries or Roses.Purple  Blueberries, Blackberry or Dogwood. (who doesn’t have dogwood readily available)Brown  – Dandelion. Tea Bags, Coffee Grinds or FennelRed – Madder , Sumac (same comment as for Dogwood) Beets. Green – Artichoke, Spinach,  SorrelYellow – saffron, onion skin, Marigold.There are of course many more options on colours and sources of colour.  I do wonder if using a dye based on onions, coffee and fennel will not leave you wafting an aroma around the dance floor on a saturday night, but I do like the idea of a totally self sufficient operation with minimal chemicals.  You can also buy your salt and washing powders from the supermarket to aide the dyeing process.So the next time you are clearing away after dinner,  just consider the food morsels you are about to give to the dog or throw into the bin,  they could be a way to revitalise your wardrobe.

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