Using Natural Dyes

Wool being steeped in various dyes.

Two enterprising WWOOF ers, both ardent knitters, tried their hand at using natural dyes on some spare sock wool.

They used nettle, sorrel root, lichen, onion skins, and red kale each with or without a mordant as well as with diferent mordants. The results were most encouraging.

Martha has 3 different ‘brews’ on the go.


Katherine ‘cooking up’ onion skins.


Sample Sheet

Here are some of the ‘receipes’ they used.

Nettle with no mordant; nettle with iron nails.

Sorrel Root over nettle with no mordant; sorrel root over nettle with iron nails.

Lichen with no modrdant; lichen- long steep in dye.

Onion skins in vinegar- 1 hour. Onion skins in exhust dye. Onion skins with vinegar with iron nails.

Red Kale with cream of tartar; red kale with iron nails; red kale with vinegar and iron nails.

Lichen on cotton

Red Kale with iron nails on cotton

Why not have a go yourselves? It’s easy!


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