Plant dyeing with madder compost

Written by [email protected] on Nov. 26, 2009 in Natural Dye Plants

The sock yarn below was dyed not exactly on a compost heap but in buckets of left over dye stuffs that were left in the sun for a few weeks.

It was a continuation of the use of the home-grown madder written about in the previous article Madder and Madder.

The madder in question had already been used to dye over one and a half times its weight, however because the madder was quite coarsely chopped I could see both from the wool dyed and the madder that was left over that the red pigments had not yet been fully released from the roots.

The red wool below was soaked in a bucket of the moistened madder for a few weeks on our sunny doorstep, it was turned occasionally. It has resulted in a variegated yarn which in real life have some brilliant flashes of bright red.

Compost Yarns

The yellow and red sock yarn was given a similar treatment in a bucket of 'spent' weld and madder.

I am not yet quite ready to to say goodbye to this madder that took so long to grow and prepare, so it is once more on the doorstep playing host to a few hundred grams of merino rovings. After which we will see if it is ready for the compost heap and hence back to the dye garden.

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Catherine Conrad

Catherine Conrad on 01/29/2010 12:18 a.m.

I just found you site. I knit socks and I am so excited by your products. This yarn is wonderful.

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