Tuesday, 25 August 2009

NATURAL DYEING WITH NETTLE


We had long known that nettles can be used for natural dyeing to produce soft shades of yellow, but we had never tried it... until now!
Our target was, as usual, silk shawls. The silk shawls were mordanted with alum in the usual way (although cream of tartar was also added for the first shawl.)
From the photos you will see the process from start to the finished shawls. I have to admit that this was probably the first natural dyestuff that didn't smell so nice when boiling away in the large pan. Blackberries will win the award for sweetest smelling dyestuff!
I selected nettle leaves and stalks as it was easier than picking just the leaves. I am not so sure of what, if any, differences there would have been if we had selected just the leaves.
The resulting colour was not as pleasing as I had expected, but it certainly offers us range of soft tones. There really isn't much else to report as I believe the photos will explain far more details of our experiment.

Natural clothing, bags and so on...