Experimenting with colour is a lovely meditative and interesting process. It is part art, part science, part cooking and part childhood game. Around Easter time this year the kids and I had a hoot dyeing eggs – and then I continued with my natural dye experiments on wool I had recycled from a fine cream coloured skirt. I have had a long on and off again fascination with dyeing fabric and in fact my mini quilt in Whip Up Mini Quilts is a Shibori Sampler.

Dyeing – either with natural – readily found ingredients like beetroot and red cabbage or with harder to find woodland materials like lichens, moss and plant leaves, or if you want to go use indigo and cochineal or even if chemical dyeing is more your thing – its tricky – fun – and addictive!

How to:

  1. Dip dye clothing
  2. Sweet Paul Magazine Summer has an article on natural dyeing
  3. Dye shoe makeover
  4. Great article at Craftzine on natural dyeing (pictured)
  5. Natural wool dyed table runner


  1. Some clamp and fold experimentation and more lovely experiments here (pictured)
  2. Resurrection fern keeps a dye journal – beautiful and interesting. (pictured)
  3. Abigail has been experimenting with dyeing bracelets. (pictured)
  4. Jude’s onion skin dye experiments
  5. Lichen dye experimentation

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This book could not have arrived on my doorstep at a better time. Just when I am beginning to experiment and discover a love for dyeing naturally (oh did I just say that?). This book The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes: Personalize Your Craft with Organic Colors from Acorns, Blackberries, Coffee, and Other Everyday Ingredients. By Sasha Duerr (Timber Press January 2011), is a treasure trove of natural dyeing tips and advice and practical recipes!

From intense blues to soft grey, these gorgeous colours are all harvested by your garden or the farmers market – what could be more natural – so if you are interested in naturally crafting, or slow crafting then experimenting with natural dyes is for you. I found this interview with Sasha I love the terms slow fashion and soil to studio I also love that Sasha is re-connecting with the environment and with the traditional crafts – helping to revive plant dye knowledge. Sasha says When you work with organic botanical color sources, you are literally working with living color – I love that! Naturally dyeing is so accessible Sasha also says “if you can cook, you can dye”.

More about the book here and the author here.

Part of a week of natural crafting and lifestyle books here at whipup.net


leethal has a fun crock pot yarn dyeing tutorial – looks delicious!

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Fabulous interesting article on craftzine all about natural dyeing.



Yuki shows us how to dye with safflower – am loving this series.