Friday, 31 August 2012

Dyes to harvest around Vancouver- Coast Salish Territories

Want a list of the natural dyes that you can harvest around Vancouver- Caosst Salish Territories?
Here it is!!

Lupin Leaves... Not the pretty purple flowers... the leaves. They Dye green! SO GREAT!! I'm in love with these guys. They grow naturally here... and pretty well anywhere outside of the city past may you can find them! (until late July i'm pretty sure... )

Ivy... I've not dyed with these in a long while... And also note that the English Ivy that grows around the city chokes out plants. It is totally invasive... so I don't feel bad harvesting this one! Makes greenish

Blackberries. Another invasive one! (But tasty!) - Pueple

Onion Skins- Yellow. Beautiful yellow with alum mordant... but GREEN! with an iron mordant! LOVE!

Walnut husks- Brown. Such a nice one too! And you get to eat the walnuts! Win win!

Oak leaves- yellowish colour... pretty nice..

Black eyes susans- yellowish... nice dye!

Fennel- i've heard of using this... to make yellow. Not tried it myself yet

Black tea- Good, simple, and pretty colour!

Black beans- The water what you soak black beans in (before you cook the dried ones) It makes blue!!!!

Horse Tail- Yellow... i'm solar dyeing with it right now... can't wait to see the results!

Fig Tree Leaves- Yellow- never tried this one!

Sage- Never tried... but makes green!

More to come.....


  1. I've tried the fennel- no mordant on a handspun merino. It didn't turn out very nicely. Kind of a little yellower white. Some day I plan to try it again. With mordant.
    I also tried the black bean dye. That was pretty impressive. Except I tried dyeing too much fiber, so it's a lovely pale greyish blue. Not what I wanted, but not bad either. But not what I wanted. I'll be trying that one again too. Eventually. ;)

  2. this is such an inspiring post! I can't believe black bean water works as a dye. I'm so excited to try that one. Thanks for the list!

  3. What a magical name for a blog! I know that face--and I cook black beans. I must try what happens too. This is a new bookmark.

  4. I realize I wasn't in your class and as such maybe shouldn't be asking for free advise BUT... Can you use vinegar as your acid for natural dying or is it not strong enough? I've got a bunch of blackberries to dye with and I've read you can use salt but vinegar is whatI've used in the past. Whatdo you use as your mordant for blackberries? Is there a resource out there to suggest what works for different types of plants?

  5. Jen!! Alum is going to be your bestest buddy for mordanting blackberries!
    You can get it at Maiwa on Granville Island!