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Dyeing with nettles

One of my favourite plants to dye with in the spring is the stinging nettle – it’s one of the plants I most look forward to. The leaves give me a soft grey-green hue at this time of year (maybe you get a slightly different colour?) – the colour just feels so fresh and “alive” at the beginning of spring.

In this blog post I’ll give your some of my nettle dyeing tips for the freshest colours, and also chat to two nettle-loving herbalists, Kim and Vicky, from Handmade Apothecary. They’ve answered some of my questions about nettles and helped me understand why lower heat works best when extracting dye from the leaves.

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How to dye even colours (and why you might not want to)

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is something along the lines of, “How can I dye fabric with natural dyes and get more even colours?”

The truth is that is is very tricky to dye with totally even results; it’s a challenge even for experienced dyers. However there are certainly some tricks for getting more uniformity across fabric and garments that you are dyeing.

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A shift in mind and space – what’s the future of the magazine?

Since my baby boy was born in the summer, it’s been a quiet few months in terms of creativity. He is my best creation of the year, which is how it should be. There’s something about having a baby that seems to give me clarity. It doesn’t happen straight away, and the process is painful, but once I come through the darkness of utter exhaustion, I feel like a new person.Continue Reading →

Some yarn play!

It’s no secret that yarn isn’t my main passion. I’ve been captivated by cloth for many years, making clothes and also simply fabric for scarves. I love the drape of fabric and never get tired of it.

But recently I’ve been yearning to experiment with yarn more. Initially I planned to re-learn knitting; I learnt to knit as a young child, but never progressed beyond the basics. So I bought some chunky cotton yarn and some bamboo knitting needles. Things didn’t quite work out this way though, as I was tempted by Tunisian Crochet somewhere along the way…!Continue Reading →

Playing as part of my design process

People often wonder why I dye so many small pieces of fabric in different colours and ask what I do with them all. I’ve actually considered taking up quilting as a hobby on many occasions. The truth is, I simply love dyeing swatches of fabric and lengths of yarn with different plants. Experimenting is all part of my process and I discover lots of new things through this kind of play.

 

 

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