Natural Dyes

I’ve always had a fascination with herbs and edible flowers. I’ve not pursued the interest beyond a large herb garden and multiple flowerbeds, but the interest remains. Since this is the season to plan a garden I decided to check out a book on natural dyes.


This is a small book, about seven inches square, full of beautiful pictures. By mid-book I noticed that the dyed animal fibers had saturated, rich colors while the plant fibers came out more pastel. I don’t know if this is a function of natural dyes or the author’s dyeing process. Anyone ever make their own dyes from plants? Did they produce vibrant colors on cotton? The author does mention she has better success dyeing animal fibers, such as wool roving.
Given what I’m seeing, I decided to move on to another book on natural dyes. If I see the same pastels when dyeing cotton fabric, I will shelve the idea for now.
I’ll still plant herbs around the yard, but with cooking and visual enjoyment in mind. I really do love my fresh basil.

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