Natural Dyes

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Natural dyes give subtle and varied results on textiles depending on the method used to extract the colour. We suggest you experiment with the dyes and keep notes on how you arrived at the finished result. A great way to do this is to start with the Fibrecrafts Natural Dye Kit which includes a selection of natural dyes and mordants to get you started. The kit includes instructions on how to achieve the best colours from your natural dyes and further information about natural dyeing can be found in our Blog & FAQs.

The quantity of natural dye required will vary depending on which dyestuff is used, the method employed to extract the colour, the quality of the water, and the type of fibre to be dyed. As an indicator, the dry weight of 500g of materials will require approximately 250g dried madder to produce a medium red, whilst just 30g of Cochineal will be required for the same quantity of materal. Increasing the amount of dyestuff will intensify colours. We recommend experimentation, and if you wish to repeat colour results, careful note keeping of the methods used.

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Natural fibres, including nylon, can be dyed using Natural dyes. Some of the dye colours will fix to the material without any assistance, although most will need help to make them colour and washfast. A mordant is used to tint colours and to make them washfast on wool and silk, while cellulose fibres such as cotton and linen will need to be treated in a solution of Aluminium Acetate to make the dye “stick”.

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