As we plan our 2023 garden, I am hopeful to add more dye friendly plants and flowers. In the previous season, we grew several plants that are great for beginners, however, learning for process and prepare yarn took up a majority of my time last year. My major goal of this year is the create a variety of yarn that is dyed from our garden.
Natural dyes are a great way to either mend stains on existing clothing or dye raw fiber or yarn that will be made into clothing. Natural dyes are environmentally friendly because they are literally a part of the earth. Just like the natural fibers that I use to make our yarn, the natural dyes will compost in a short amount of time giving back to the planet as opposed to polluting landfills with thousands of years of waste.
Our products are known for their natural colors. We do not add any dyes or additives to our fiber so our products can be as natural as possible. However, natural dyes have always interested me and I hope to be able to provide an alternative to those who prefer color that is both environmental and health friendly. Natural dyes are literally the best of both worlds.
What I Plan to Grow this Year:
Indigo can create a variety of blues. It is known for creating rich and trustworthy blue as long as you prepare the fiber correctly before it goes into the dye bath. Many plants will give a variety of color per plant and what I love about indigo is that it promises a blue even if it is not as deep as desired.
Last fall I harvested pokeberry that grows naturally on my homestead. I made the pink scrunchies that are currently on our shop with that fleece. Pokeberry traditionally makes a deep red but you can get any color from purple to bright pink. I was actually hoping for a deep red for the holidays when I made the yarn but plans sometimes change when working with mother nature.
Hollyhocks create a purple/red depending on temperature of the water. I love hollyhocks because they are a perennial and I can plant many, enjoy beautiful flowers in my garden and prepare natural dyes for years to come.
These are just a few of the many we plan to grow this year. When planning a natural dye garden, I tend to pick plants that will come back each year with fuller and greater harvests. I am very new to natural dying but I am excited to learn and grow and provide more eco-friendly clothing for years to come.