When it Comes to Dyeing Yarn, Mother (Nature) Knows Best

We’ve all oohed and aahed over skeins and braids of hand-dyed yarn and fiber. The myriad colors, the subtle (and not-so-subtle) shade ranges. Sometimes though, we’re looking for a particular shade we can’t find anywhere. Or we want to dye yarn that we spun ourselves. Or maybe we’re just dye-curious and want to mess around with a lot of pots and skeins and see what happens.

dyeing yarn

Cochineal red. All these shades came from a single bug.

If you fall into any of these categories, you will love Dagmar Klos’ Natural Dyeing, now available in a streaming workshop format. Dagmar is a master dyer, and shows you the basics of dyeing using petals, bark—even bugs! —in a clear and friendly style that will have you watching repeatedly.

dyeing yarn

Raw dyestuffs and the colors they make.

Using natural dyes is both very simple and rather complicated. Yes, you can just dump a bunch of marigold petals into a pot of hot water and get something pretty, but a bit more finesse will give you better results. Mordanting your fiber, or pre-treating it with a variety of chemical solutions, can affect the depth, shade, and color-fastness of your dye. How long something is in the dyebath, and at what temperature, definitely affects your final color, as does the water itself. “Hard” water, with a lot of iron it in, can give distinctly different results compared to distilled water.

dyeing yarn

Write everything down because there is no way you will remember it all.

Once you create a dye color you love, replicating the results means tracking a whole bunch of variables to get the same color each time. Dagmar offers indispensable information, not only about equipment and safety and which plants make which colors but also about the things you need to track to get the color you want each time.

Whether you start with natural dye extracts or make your own straight out of the garden, Natural Dyeing gives you a foundation from which to set out on your own natural dyeing adventures.

Natural Dyeing is a streamable course you can watch at your own pace—anywhere, anytime, on any device. Purchase the workshop and you can download the videos to own forever. Want more bang for your buck? Subscribe to Interweave’s online workshops and tackle new techniques without leaving the house. For $9.99 a month, you can binge-watch to your heart’s content. Knit, crochet, spin, weave—hone a craft or learn a new one. Watch videos from great instructors and access and download plenty of supporting materials such as charts, photos, and worksheets. Interact with other students via our chat boards, and post your finished assignments to a shared gallery so others can see your work. We’re adding new workshops every month, so why not sign up today?

Never stop learning,

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