Are you ready to experiment with natural dyes on wool?
If you answered yes, then join me and learn the limitless relationship of natural dyes and animal fleece and fibers. Get your hands dirty and fire up your imagination in the world of colorful natural dyes.
Hi, I’m Janet!
Welcome to Natural Dyes on Wool with Timber Creek Farm! I’m a creative shepherd, wool dyer, crafter, and author. When we first began raising a fiber flock of sheep and goats, my dream was to create yarn from our flock shearing each year. After being introduced to natural dyes about ten years back, I added color goals to my dreams.
But not just any colors. Our flock is raised as naturally as possible, hence the name of our yarn – Free Range Yarn! The colors had to match our determination to live naturally. Between taking workshops, and taking risks, I have come up with my own methods for creating and using natural dyes on wool. I love to take the scientific requirements and add artistic elements.
I hope you will decide this is just what you have been searching for too. My courses will take you through the initial basic steps of natural dyeing, strengthen your talents, and encourage you to go ahead with your own journey.
Cover the Basic Steps of Natural Dying
Recipes from easy-to-find foods, flowers, and weeds.
Learn where to forage and how much to gather.
This course will cover the following topics:
- Basic Steps of Natural Dyeing
- Using a Dyer’s Workbook
- What are Mordants and Modifiers?
- What are Exhaust Dyes?
- Kitchen Dyes
- Foraged Dyes
- Cultivated Garden Dyes
What is Natural Dying?
Natural dyeing is adding color to wool using plants and other natural materials. Wool from sheep and fiber from alpacas and llamas, mohair from goats, and angora from rabbits are all protein fibers that can follow the same protocol and recipes. Yarns are fun to dye, but the same techniques are also used to dye roving and washed fleece.
It took me a while to gather my courage to explore natural dyeing but once I did, I was hooked! The first naturally dyed yarn I created was yellow, using a handful of marigolds I hurriedly picked from our garden. I suppose, looking back, I was ready to go for it and just dove in before losing my nerve. Afterwards, I began looking at all the plants around me in a new way. Could I harvest that color from that flower? Would that green leaf produce green or some other color?
While I was creating color, I noticed that one small step to either side can change the color both subtly and significantly. Adding a modifier such as washing soda, or vinegar, can change the pH and the color. Also, the color you see in the plant or vegetable may not even remotely be the color of the dye you end up with.
People speak of having a turning point in their creative journey. Learning about natural dyes, taking risks with color, and growing or foraging for the dye plants right here on our property touches me deeply. To think that our yarn and fiber are not only raised here, nourished, picked for the best parts, and later, dyed with the plants also grown here, is pure magic.
But, that is not the limit. No, not even close. Dyes are also available for purchase, which opens up even greater options for wool dyeing. Combining not only colors but modifiers, to make a completely new shade of color. The possibilities are endless. This is what I hope to inspire in you. Yes, learn the steps necessary to make the dye stick to the wool. Then let your imagination soar. Remember that box of 128 Crayola crayons? Achieve that and far more. This is truly a creative process that should be enjoyed. Gather some samples from your garden, and your woods, or ask a friend for some materials from their yard. Before long, I am sure you will be hooked on natural dyeing wool, too.
The Natural Dyes on Wool eCourse coincides with my book, Natural Dyes on Wool with Timber Creek Farm – A Journaling Workbook. I designed this workbook to accompany you on your artistic journey and to become an essential part of your natural dye toolkit. And as with all hard-working tools, eventually, it will be stained with a rainbow of colors from your color mixing experiments, and difficult to close with all of the snippets of yarn sticking out from the pages.
In this course, I will inspire and encourage you to take risks, experiment, and journey down the path of natural dyes. The relationship of natural plant colors with wool is limitless. Once you have a basic understanding of how the materials react to each other, you can direct your own journey.
My Natural Dyes on Wool Journaling Workbook is not required in order to take this course. However, one may be purchased here. This process is meant to be creative, messy, and fun – the same goes for your notebook! Whether you chose to purchase my workbook or create your own, make sure this a staple item in your dye toolkit.