There is a never ending colour palette using plants to dye fibre. Shetland has indiginous species that give a wide range of colour. I also have a natural dye plant garden where introduced species such as woad and madder add to the colour range.
You can follow the links on this page to discover how fibres can be dyed using different plants. Both wool and silk dye well with plant dyes as well as cotton. Natural fibres, animal and vegetable take natural dye colour. Most plants require the use of a mordant to be applied to the fibre before dyeing.
Mordants can be found using tannin from teabags or oak galls, rhubarb leaves which contain oxalic acid (poisonous to eat), or other mordants such as iron or copper can be extracted from old nails or piping. A commonly used safe mordant is Alum which can be bought as crystals.
The old way of dyeing used saved urine as a mordant and this method gives bright lightfast colours, can be a bit smelly though!
Use the links below to find out more
about dyeing and mordanting wool
Colours from the Spindrift Crafts Dye Garden
Madder plant and
Woad plants and
Willow and dyed wool
Marigold flower and dyed wool
Here are examples of some of the plants and the dye colour produced.
Click on the images to enlarge