Category archives: Natural Dye Plants

Information on natural dye plants from Europe and abroad.

New Year 2016 newsletter

Written by [email protected] on Jan. 12, 2016 in Dye House News, Events, La Laine, Natural Dye Plants, workshops

A Happy and Colourful New Year to all our customers and friends.

Nous souhaitons à tous nos clients et amis un joyeux et coloré 2016

With the New Year we will be introducing a New Wool. We are very very pleased to have been able to buy some combed Merino D'Arles tops directly from a shepherds' co-operative in the east of France. This has cut out middlemen and given the shepherds a descent price for their wool. We have had the beautifully soft wool spun into a 4 ply yarn in Biella, Italy - no chemicals, just soap used in ...

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Natural dye workshop 2015

Written by [email protected] on Aug. 23, 2015 in Dye House News, Events, Natural Dye Plants, Your Gallery

So much to share, lots of pics, so here are a few of the daily highlights.

Winding and tying all that WHITE yarn.

First colour from the all-in-one Madder bath.

Some of the fruits of day 2 - Weld and Cochineal

Wednesday was Woad Day.

Weld and Indigo make green or turquoise.

Working those Madder bags...

....makes bright red maddered wool.

Gunilla brought along her amazing felted kimono for us to see.

Indigo diving!

Logwood wool cooling in its liquor.

Not much white wool left!

Decorating the washing line!

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Nettles

Written by [email protected] on May 18, 2015 in Natural Dye Plants

Somewhere in most gardens there is a stinging nettle patch and I expect you like me have a history going back a long time with this interesting plant. I remember my fear of it when young and the rapidity with which I learnt to respect it and also to identify the dock leaf which would sooth its sting. Nowadays I use Weleda Urtica gel, known in English as Combudoron Gel, which is made of nearly 50% stinging nettle and surely must the epitome of the hair of the dog remedy.

A wonderfully child friendly use of nettles.

We use them ...

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A Recipe of Earth's Colours

Written by andielui[email protected] on May 7, 2015 in Dye House News, Natural Dye Plants

That the earth can produce such colours still amazes me after so many years. These colours have been produced by just a few plants.

  • Weld for the basic yellows and the foundation of the greens and turquoises.

  • Madder for the terracottas and browns.

  • The insect cochineal for the pink that is the first layer of the purple.

  • Finally indigo to transform the yellows and pink into turquoise, green and purple.

  • A few grams of alum, cream of tartar and iron and you have a rainbow.

  • Mineral, plant, animal and man or in my case woman.

  • Earth, water, fire and air ...

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Spring Newsletter

Written by [email protected] on March 9, 2015 in Dye House News, Events, Natural Dye Plants

Spring Sale

Now we are settled back in the dye house and winding room after the businesses of the Paris show and the arrival of our new grand-daughter, I have time to put some things for sale on the web-site. Thank you Mojo Cat for the idea!

Maintenant, nous sommes réinstallés dans latelier de teinture et la grange d'enroulement et avoir le temps de mettre les choses dans une vente sur le site web.

Le Lot et La Laine

As always we so enjoyed meeting so many of you at the Paris show in February and now we are ...

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Blackthorn

Written by [email protected] on Sept. 13, 2014 in Natural Dye Plants

I haven't quite got used to the fact that the harvest is ready earlier here in the south of France, even in the most mountainous department. Back in England one waited until the first frost had visited the sloe berries before picking them. Here you have to get in there in early September or they are gone.

I was worried that I was too late, the berries are small and some are beginning to shrivel, their bloom gone, washed off by the summer of rain, dried by the fierce September sun. Then I realise that they are drying like ...

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Solar Dyeing

Written by [email protected] on June 9, 2014 in Dye House News, Natural Dye Plants

There are many differnt ways of solar dyeing. Here is my particular Whit Sunday version:

Il ya plusieurs façons de teinture solaire. Voici ma version particulière de la Pentecôte:

Indulge in a vide greniers or car-boot sale. There you will find that the world is indeed full of many tongues and that it is communicative, kind and friendly.

Offrez-vous une vide greniers. Il vous verrez que le monde est en effet pleine de nombreuses langues et qu'il est communicatif, chaleureux et sympathique.

Beetle home with your chosen bottling jars, these are 1.5l. The rubber seals are important as ...

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Happenings around the Dye House

Written by [email protected] on May 8, 2012 in Dye House News, Natural Dye Plants

Just to give you a peek of what is going on in the dyehouse.

There are three things on-going at the moment - dyeing for the new 10 coloured Shawlette from Cécile Balladino aka Eclectic Gipsyland; dyeing of some turkey-work wool for a project that has spanned 5 years for the Merchant's House in Marlborough, England and the endless job of keeping the crewel wool stock at a level that doesn't cause panic. Lampion is one of the Poll Dorset shades that will go into Cécile's new crochet shawl, this is made, among other things, with onion skins ...

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A Look at the Natural Dye Garden in May

Written by [email protected] on May 16, 2011 in Natural Dye Plants

A quick look at the dye garden on a dry May day. It hasn't rained here for weeks. The Cosmos and Coreopsis are waiting to be planted out, they are big enough already but with no rain in sight. I don't want to risk losing them.

The mass of fluffy foliage in the image below is the two woad plants I left to go to seed when I took the rest out earlier in the spring, the yellow flowers are almost gone and the tear-drop seeds are still this light fresh green that would look spectacular on a ...

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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 ...

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