Since last summer I have been gathering flowers, onion skins, and linens to do a natural dye bath. I was growing marigolds in my garden just so I could use them to dye fabrics. With spring in the air, the idea of having an outdoor dye bath and a place to hang fabrics to dry in the breeze is almost a reality. Next month I am also taking a class on the natural dye bath so I can learn more about the techniques of dying with natural materials such a flowers and roots.
Dying with plant materials has been going on for centuries. In today's fast paced environment alot of our clothes and linens are made using artificail dyes which could be harmful to the environment. There recently has been a shift in attitude towards our throw away society that we as consumers are creating. The pendulum is moving towards using natural and organic fibers as well as natural dyes. Indie yarn dyers are using natural plant materials to create muted palettes of colors. If you are interested in learning more about dying with plant material I reccomend two great books: The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar and Natural color by Sasha Duerr. Both cover all the basics and include projects to get you started.
I been thinking alot about the slow fashion movement and so I plan on recycling and upcyling vintage fabrics for my natural dyeing processes. This garden to linen project has taken time so I am excited to finally be able to take the next step and explore dying with plant materials to create beautiful linens. It's a beautiful idea to create colors using plants!