A New Book for Natural Dyers

March 27, 2019

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  • Thank you Cristina, for taking time to digest the book. I loved dyeing with the knitters at Shakerag last summer. Now, about the avocado pits – they do contain a tannin, and thus the light pink color. It’s actually not a bad source of tannin. But the pits are not the edible part….the edible fruit is not a source of dye color. It’s like the hulls for black walnuts – they are not the edible part but are excellent for dyeing. Good that we don’t have to be conflicted about what to use for food and what to save for dyeing!

    Catharine Ellis

    • I have that book from a class I took at Maryville College in the 70’s. We dyed wool for knitting and weaving. This past year I used the avocado pits to dye fabric (tee shirts) for a project from Alabama Chanin. I have a jar of rusty nails on my back porch waiting for the dye pot. So much fun!

    • Rebecca Desnos dyes with avocado pits and skins all the time with amazing results!

  • Oh I’m was so excited to read this! I can’t wait to get my hands on my own copy!!

  • If you are wanting to know more I recommend this book. Mary Frances Davidson was/is well known in the Appalachians for the work she did preserving procedures on natural dyes. https://www.amazon.com/Dye-Pot-Mary-Frances-Davidson/dp/0686101375

  • I am so happy to see Cristina as an MDK contributor here! She is an excellent social media manager.maven.

  • Cristina, this is a fantastic article and overview! I have a paper grocery bag nearly full of avocado shells and pits ready for action when the weather and outdoor water warm up. Come visit… xo

  • I sat in on a talk with Catherine Ellis a few years ago and have saying ever since that I wish she would write a book. This is the best news ever for plant based dyers!

  • Christina, it’s so good to hear from you. This book just moved up to the top of my list. Thanks for stepping out of the curtain!

    • *out from behind the curtain!

  • so interesting! I’ve been addicted to hand-dyed yarns for the last few years (what knitter hasn’t been?) and I have been thinking about trying some natural dyeing myself this summer. This book sounds like it is a rich resource on the topic – thank you!

  • This looks fascinating! Thanks for the review! I just sent a purchase request to my local library, as this sounds like something that should be generally available. I have dyed wool with acid dyes, but am very interested in expanding my knowledge of natural dyestuffs!

  • I’m a keen natural dyer, using local plants, and get nice results from edibles, beets, turmeric, spinach etc. So I must follow up on the idea that they’re not suitable. Perhaps they had fugitive issues in mind. Any new book on dyeing is worth checking out, thank you.

  • After participating in several workshops on natural dyes – including the one with Catherine and Amy at the Knitting Getaway, I have started trying a few things with natural dyes. This book with its detailed explanations and recipes has been so helpful. It’s the next best thing to having a knowledgeable teacher by my side! I am planning many more projects.