Saturday, 29 May 2010

Solar Dyeing

Chopped dried goldenrod from summer 2009
Eucalyptus leaves and madder with a view of annatto seeds on the right hand side.
My sunny place

Annatto seeds and logwood and cotton
An article on solar dyeing that I have written has just been published in the Weavers Spinners and Dyers Journal so this spurred me on to do some solar pots this year especially as we have been , until today , having quite a lot of hot sun.


  1. Hello!
    I just read your article in the journal, and am very eager to try solar dyeing! I'm going to buy some logwood and weld, and I just hope I have enough patience :)

    Do you know if there are any books or other articles published on solar dyeing? I want to read as much as possible about this fascinating dyeing method.

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    Tina, Sweden

  2. Hi Tina I am so glad you liked my article. as far as I know there are no books on solar dyeing but India Flint's Eco Colour has lots about bundling fabrics and also about leaf prints.

  3. I wish we had more sun - but I am going to put out a jar anyway, hoping for the best:)) the good thing is that if it doesn't work too well, the fibres don't suffer and can be overdyed if need be.... or I might stuff it into the electric canning kettle?

  4. Hi Helen:
    Magnificent article. Thank you for sharing this great experience with solar dyes. Like Tina I would like to find out more about this method of solar cookers. Some questions I have:
    1. You can use wool, silk and cotton?
    2. How long you leave the tissue in the solar cooker?
    3. Must be heated before the fire water before placing the wool in the solar cooker?

    I will do experiments in Lanzarote with different dyes and mordants and I'm going to count.
    Greetings from the Canary Islands
    Juan Cazorla

  5. Hi Bettina even with a little sun you should get a result-just leave it longer. However you are right if it does fail just dye it normally!
    Hi Cazorla
    You can use any fibres but if you want to mix them in the pot premordant first.
    You can leave the fibres(tissue) for as long as you like.MY friend has left her pots over winter.
    In Lanzarote where you have a lot of sun and very hot too just put the fibres and dyes in a pot with cold water. I do that anyway on hot sunny days. Yours will get much hotter than mine so you may not need to leave them as long. If it is grey cloud and therefore cold when I prepare my pots I do sometimes start them off with hot water.
    Let me know how you get on.
    Best Wishes

  6. Thanks Helen:
    Begin to test the pots these days and keep you informed of the results to be obtained.

    Greetings from Lanzarote

  7. Ooooh these pictures are adorable.

  8. what monthly issue are you published in, want to locate the magazine thanks