FEEDBACK FRIDAY: This Week in Natural Dye Questions

This week: How to make a “Christmas Green” and info on making your own printing dyes from extracts and liquids

Every week, we are emailed with questions from our natural dye community asking simple and complex questions that we thought might be worth sharing. Of course, all of your burning questions are answered by natural dyer in chief, Kathy Hattori, Founder of Botanical Colors.

Is there a way to create a Christmas green ?

Are you familiar with indigo? If so, dip your yarn or fabric to a medium dark shade, then mordant and dye with either 3-5% weld (for an almost Kelly Green) or pomegranate (10%) for a spruce blue-green. There is no way to get that particular color without indigo as part of the formula.

I’m really interested in creating paints out of natural dyes. Can you use both your extracts and liquid dyes to make them?

You can! If you are using powdered extracts, dissolve the powder in about 50 ml (1.75 ounce) of boiling water. Add the desired amount of thickener to the dissolved dye mixture.

If you are using Aquarelle liquid dyes, mix the desired amount of thickener with the dye until it is the required consistency.

We have more print paste thickening instructions here.

We also think these books are pretty great at inspiring and guiding you through the process:

Botanical Inks: Plant-to-Print Dyes, Techniques and Projects by Babs Behan

The Art and Science of Natural Dyes: Principles, Experiments, and Results

Make Ink: A Forager’s Guide to Natural Inkmaking