Traditional Method Dye Kit
Traditional Method Natural Dye kits
Dye with the traditional method.
Natural dyeing uses no harsh chemicals and so it is a safe and sustainable craft to learn. The traditional method of dyeing uses alum as a mordant which helps fix the dye to the fibre. Alum is a natural mineral used in a very wide range of household products and foods. The dye is created in a large pan, a bit like making strong, stewed tea and then the yarn added and gently heated to absorb the colour. Its a very satisfying way to dye yarn because each skein is slightly different, even from the same dye batch. The dye that is left after the first yarn is dyed often has enough colour to dye a second skein.
You will need some basic equipment for this method:
A large non aluminium/non cast iron saucepan (about 8l is fine); hob with temperature control which can hold liquids at a simmer; measuring jug and spoon. If you are doing this for the first time, use existing pans etc, just wash them REALLY thoroughly after use. However, if you plan to take up natural dyeing it is worth getting pans etc that you only use for natural dyeing. The plant dyes and mordants will not harm you, but they might give you a tummy ache.
Calendula flowers, grown in my garden in Cornwall give a beautiful range of colours from pale apricot to warm yellow. They are organically grown and harvested and dried ready to be used in a dye pot using a traditional method of dyeing.
Cochineal is a small scale beetle that grows on cacti and it gives amazing reds, pink and sometimes almost purple. It gives a lot of colour so you only need a small amount. Cochineal can be used several times over to give dye colour. (Exhaust dyeing)
Madder is a small spreading plant that grows naturally in the UK. Madder has been used for centuries to dye fabrics and fibres a range of colours from dark rust to pale peach. The roots are harvested and dried in the sun before being hand chopped and used to make the dye colour. Madder is also sensitive to pH and the colour can be made more orange with the addition of washing soda (an alkaline)
Weld and Tansy are also grown in the UK. They have been used by dyers for centuries to get lovely shades of mustard and yellow.
This kit contains all you need to traditionally dye your own skein of luxury yarn using the traditional “dye bath” method. The yarn will be 100g of 4ply weight, usually Merino with 13% cotton for a slightly marled effect. If you would prefer a different base or weight, please let me know. I can do a swap for another yarn in our Purely Gorgeous range.
We recommend hand washing this luxury fibre, and dry flat.
Treat yourself or a special someone to this beautiful gift in a kit!
I am unable to post this kit to Australia and New Zealand due to customs restrictions. If you are not in the UK, please check any customs restrictions on dried plant stuffs in your country before ordering.
Dried dye stuff, pre-weighed alum mordant in a sachet, 100g skein of luxury yarn full instructions and H&S advice,