Spindrift Crafts   

  Dyeing fibres using locally grown plants

instagram-Logo-PNG-Transparent-Background-download Facebook square blue large etsylogo woolheathercircle

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


Using plant dyes in Shetland


Dyeing wool with Heather tips


Mordanting wool, How and Why


Colours from the Spindrift Crafts Dye Garden

Madder plant and

dyed wool

Woad plants and

dyed wool

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

gardenspunwoad postersquare

Natural Dye from Plants