Adventures in Avocado

Oh, the delight I feel when I show off my avocado yarn! Peoples' eyes go wide with disbelief when they hear of the color's source. One of nature's little surprises, these green-brown drupes will render a range of colorfast pinks to fibers of all kinds. Avocados make an excellent beginner's natural dye. The material is… Continue reading Adventures in Avocado

Phabulous Phaeolus Fungi

A great introduction to natural dyeing, the Dyer's Polypore (Phaeolus schweinitzii) is a forgiving and plentiful dyestuff. A single specimen is usually more than enough to dye 200g of wool (not including multiple rounds of dye bath exhaustion), and the pigment sticks readily to wool fibers without a mordant. It is simple enough to identify, and… Continue reading Phabulous Phaeolus Fungi

Gathering Dyestuffs

The natural world is abundant in color. It doesn't take long to discover that so many of the organisms we see every day can impart pigment across the whole spectrum. In fact, it may become challenging to go outside, just for the sheer distraction of fennel here, sourgrass there, oak galls left and right! Evernia prunastri… Continue reading Gathering Dyestuffs

The Science and Art of Natural Dyes

Humans are exceptionally visual organisms. We are rare among mammals to have retinas more specialized for distinguishing color than for light and dark, and the limited band of the electromagnetic spectrum called visible light yields us an ability to discern our surroundings through color, texture, and shadow. Top: yarn dyed with avocado skins and pits.Bottom:… Continue reading The Science and Art of Natural Dyes