I love working with the natural colors that wool comes in. You get all kinds of grays, browns, and whites. But after a while I wanted colors that you just can't get directly from the sheep. That is when I put together my small dye studio.
My first dye projects were with Natural Dyes; Walnut, Pokeberry, Sumac, and Goldenrod. Plants that I could find around the farm.
Visiting the fiber show in Ohio, I came across a vendor who was selling roving dyed with natural dyes. (plants). I loved the colors! I was in luck because not only did she have dyed roving, she had the dye plants for sale.
The beginnings of my own Dye Garden-
This plant is an annual that I chose to put in a pot. To get enough for dyeing, I am pinching off the flowers as they bloom, and putting them in the freezer. Next year, I plan on starting some from seed indoors and then transplanted outside after the last frost.
|Saving the Cosmo Flowers|
Some of these plants are perennial but not all. I am not sure if the plant I purchased is annual or perennial. It is in a pot like the Cosmos. The flowers are also being pinched off as they bloom, and being stored in the freezer to collect up enough for a dye project.
At the end of summer, I will put the plant in the ground and see if it comes up next year.
Right now, I have this perennial in a pot but it will later be transplanted into a garden bed. You have to have some patience for the Madder root, as it takes 3 years or more to use for dyeing.
I think the color is well worth the wait. The colors ranging from oranges to red.
It is a small garden, but it is a start! I am hoping to add new dye plants each year. The dye garden along with the wild plants that can be found in our area, will be more than enough to keep me busy.
Do you have a dye garden? Would love to hear what you have planted in yours!