Protein vs. Cellulose

In the process of looking into backyard dyeing, I’ve been looking and googling and talking. I’ve gotten some lovely comments from other dyers…some from faraway places.  How cool is that?!

I’ve found some wonderful colors, check out sheep hollow!  Wonderful colors on wool.

I’m not seeing so much natural dyeing on cellulose.

I’m having the best success with leaves.  Some flowers give great results (coreopsis and marigolds are my favorites.)  Roots are supposed to give good colors but I haven’t tried many and the few (chicory and dock) haven’t give me strong results.

I’ve found some write-ups of dyeing lore.  There are some interesting ideas.  It might be effective, but, I’ll stay away from urine and heavy metals.  (If you’re interested in these old recipes…I’m told that men, especially young men–not boys–provide the best urine.  Tell me your results…I’ll leave the testing to others!)

Left: rudbeckia Right: echinacea

Today’s surprise is rudbeckia–that cheerful sunflower-like plant that lights up the summer garden. It dyes green…like the Ironweed. Both have a maroon colored dye liquor. The colors of the flowers aren’t indicative of dye properties. The rudbeckia has a large eye. So, does the echinacea. But there’s no similarity in the dye result.

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