Spring is here -it is time to start natural dyeing! The Gorse flowers are now out in the Highlands and that is always a good sign, Gorse is always one of my first flower dyes of the year. Gorse makes a lovely creamy yellow dye. I also dye with barks and fir cones this time of year as well as early bracken and horseshoe fungus.
My dye bench is now clean and tidy and my pots are all clean (well as clean as dye pots can get!) and I have started washing fleeces for our spring and summer courses.
I am looking forward to experimenting with new plants and using old favorites. Madder and Indigo will always be on my courses, as they add so much in terms of colour variation when dipped and mixed with other dyes. The subtle yellow hues given by some dyes, then create beautiful shades of turquoise and green when dipped in Indigo- such fun to do!
We are lucky as in Scotland there are so many wild plants that can be used in natural dyeing, however, I only use those which grow in abundance and some of them are even pests; for example when we pull the Ragwort from the woods and surrounding places we are often doing farmers with stock a favor, as Ragwort when eaten is poisonous, it is so toxic it is important to wear gloves when pulling it up.
This year we have the addition of our round house, which is a lovely space to have lunch in and when the fire is lit, stays cosy and warm.
Natural Dyeing courses: