plant dyes

WRITER: CATARINA BÖCKERMAN
PICTURE: CATARINA BÖCKERMAN

Natural dyes go way back to when our ancestors needed those beautiful coloured dresses for their hot date nights. When we choose to use mama earth's natural colours over synthetic colours, we choose to create harmony over pollution. Colouring with natural colours is actually simpler than you would think. A beautiful company Fragmentario brought this ancient mama earth loving way of colouring back to our remembrance. I tested the easy peasy plant dye kit from Fragmentario to get my first touch to the world of plant dyes. So next time you're shopping get curious of how your finds have been dyed. Or maybe you feel like diving into the world of natural dyes yourself! If so let me give you the basics of natural dyeing to get you started. 

The basic process of plant dyeing,

  • Throughly soak the fabric that you want to dye. This allows the fabric to absorb the dye more easily.

  • Add your choice of raw material or extract for the colour to a pot of water. Make sure you have enough water to completely submerge your fabric.
  • Add the soaked fabric to the dye bath and bring the pot to a simmer. Routinely stir your dye bath for an even colour. The time required over heat depends on several factors. Most fabrics can be simmered in the dye bath for a couple hours and then left to rest for another period of time. 
  • The fabric will dry lighter than it appears when wet. Remove the fabric when you think it has reached the desired colour (don't worry too much you can always give it another color bath if you're not 100% happy with the achieved hue)
  • Thoroughly rinse the fabric in cold water to remove any excess dye that isn't fixed to the fabric. Hang to drie and wear it with love.

 

Get your hands dirty and dive deep into the world of plant dye,

Wild Colour, the complete guide to making and using natural dyes - Jenny Dean

The modern natural dyer - Kristine Vejar

Harvesting natural colour, how to find plants and make natural dyes - Rebecca Burgess