Explore the magic of natural dyeing with plants and minerals with this kit.Choose from marigold yellow, madder red/pink, indigo blue, or cochineal fuschia, and dye any natural fibre you choose! The kit includes enough dye for you to experiment with different fibres and garments, colours and shades. Each kit comes with instructions, so it makes a great gift for beginner dyers to learn how to coax multiple colours and shades from one dye plant using mordants and afterbaths.
You will need a spare pot, cup or jar (for mixing the dye powders), and spoon or tongs that you can devote to dyeing, plus natural fibres to dye. Even plant dyes are not always food safe, so separate pots and utensils are an essential part of the dyers toolkit. Some people also prefer to use gloves and an apron to avoid staining your hands or clothes.
Each kit will dye between 400 to 800g of fibre, depending on your desired colour (darker colours will use more dye).
Indigo Kit: $35 Indigo dye has been used around the world for many centuries, as it's one of the few plant based sources of blue. With a bit of coaxing (to make the blue pigment water soluble), indigo plants can make a wonderful range from pale sky blue to the deepest navy. Fibre natural dyed with indigo tend to have some "rub off" of colour. It's not at all harmful and will wash off your hands, but may stain wooden needles. 10g prereduced indigo 20g thiourea dioxide 30g soda ash
Marigold Kit: $35 Marigolds are a wonderful companion plant in any vegetable garden, and also naturally dye in a beautiful range of yellows, golds, and browns. 30g dried marigolds 50g alum mordant 10g iron mordant/afterbath
Madder Root Kit: $35 Madder root produces a gorgeous array of reds, oranges, corals and pinks on natural fibres. One of the oldest sources of red dye, and native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean, madder was once widely cultivated to make the coveted colour red. 30g dried madder root 50g alum mordant 10g iron mordant/afterbath
Cochineal Kit: $40 Cochineal was one of the first ever sources of red dye. The cochineal insect is native to Mexico and Central America, and in the 16th century became one of the world's most valuable commodities! It was so rare and expensive that only nobility could afford wear it- yet even so, some countries created laws to prevent lower classes from wearing royal reds and purple. 10g cochineal 50g alum mordant 10g iron mordant/afterbath
Walnut Kit: $35 The green outer husks of Walnuts are a strong and substantive natural dye. Along with soot, they used to be used in making ink. In naturally dyeing, they can yield anywhere from pale taupe and pink to dark chocolate and black. It can be used with or without mordants (alum will deepen the colour and iron will change it's tone). 20g walnut 50g alum mordant 10g iron mordant/afterbath
Sumac Kit: $35 Sumac trees are native to North America, and can be found on many a roadside or forest edge throughout Ontario. In addition to providing excellent food for native birds, sumac berries are a gorgeous dye plant. 20g sumac 50g alum mordant 10g iron mordant/afterbath
Indigo Fructose Vat: $40 All the joy of indigo using only naturally occurring ingredients! It's also slightly less smelly than the thiourea version above, but is not the best for delicate soft merino or silk. Works great for plant fibres. 20g indigo 40g lime 60g fructose