It's that gloomy time of day where the sun is already set, but it's not quite dark outside. It's that "almost evening" shade of gray. Anyway, I'm doing a bit of housekeeping at my desk from the Jan/Feb issue, and I just picked up Jenny Dean's revised and updated Wild Color from the pile. I am so happy this book is back in print. (Rumor has it that used copies were selling for hundreds of dollars a while back.)
First of all, the book is a visual treat. It is packed with beautiful color photographs of textiles, dye processes, plants and more. The sunny photos of different fibers dyed with annatto seeds on pages 32 and 33 are more than enough to brighten the "almost evening" time of day. As I made my way through the Dyeing Techniques chapter, I remembered the natural dye class I took from Maggie Casey when I learned to spin. It was my first experience with natural dyes, and I was an enthusiastic student. I loved natural dyeing yarns, and I know I have dyepots somewhere!
The best news for me is Jenny's recipe for dyeing with pomegranate. "Tis the season" and I have pomegranates at home. Then, there are the daffodils, marigold, and dahlia recipes to give me hope that summer will return and opportunities for natural dyeing can come from my very own garden.
Whether you are new to dyeing, returning to dyeing, or even experienced with color, do yourself a favor and check out this wonderful world of Wild Color.
Wild Color: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes
Jenny Dean with Karen Diadick Casselman, consultant
New York: Watson-Guptill, 2010. Paperbound, 144 pages, $22.99. ISBN 978-0-8230-5879-2