This listing is for a bundled package of our two most popular beginner Natural Dyeing Kits. Each kit is also sold separately, but if you want to dye a full rainbow, you need both!
As noted below, indigo (the way to get blue) is used in a very different way than the other dyes, and different methods and ingredients are used.
Our Natural Dye Kit allows you to dye four items (yarn, fabric, garments, anything you choose that is natural, not synthetic fibre) in shades of pink, orange, yellow and purple.
For a rainbow all you are missing is green and blue, which is where the indigo comes in. Use the indigo vat to create your blue (on a white or unbleached fibre) and then overdye some of your yellow dyed fibre in the indigo, to achieve green! And just like that - a rainbow!
Below is information about each of the kits:
INDIGO KIT ************
Indigo (indigofera tinctoria) species are the world's only source of natural, true, colourfast blue. A magical dyestuff that has been used around the world as a dye since pre-historic times, the culture and wonder that surrounds this plant is immense.
Indigo cannot be dyed in the same way as other dyes, but must be used to create a "living" vat, which is achieved through a sort of fermentation process.
This kit contains the pre-measured ingredients to create one organic fructose vat, with which you can dye quite a bit of fibre - how much a kit will dye depends on a few things, including how dark you want the blue to be, and what fibres you use. But it will dye a lot! As a general ballpark, you could expect to dye at least 5 yards of a medium weight cotton such as a quilting cotton, to a medium blue, and probably more, and darker if you wish.
The vat can remain active for several weeks, depending on how much you use it.
Indigo can be used to dye any natural fibres, not synthetics. You can dye fabric, yarn, garments, wood, anything that you like, and any fibre, such as cotton, linen, wool, silk, bamboo, rayon, hemp, etc. A small amount of synthetic fibre content such as 5% spandex in a garment, or 5% nylon in a sock yarn, is no problem.
The kit also includes comprehensive instructions on how to create and use the vat.
Please note that the dyed fibres in the photos are not included. They are there to show you what colours you can expect to achieve with the dye. You can also dye much much more fibre than shown in the photos.
25g indigofera tinctoria powder, extracted from the plant 50g pickling lime (calx) 75g fructose sugar
NATURAL DYE KIT *******************
The world of natural dyes is vast and varied, and this kit gives the beginner dyer a perfect introduction into the beauty and wonder of creating colour from nature.
Included are the ingredients to dye around 4 metres of lightweight fabric, or around 600g of yarn, light to medium shades of pink, orange, yellow and purple. In other words, you will be able to dye 1 metre each of the four colours, for a total of 4 metres. Small garments or other items can also be used - it is up to you!
The dyes can only be used to dye natural fibres, not synthetic, but can be used with either plant (i.e. cotton, linen, rayon, hemp, bamboo, etc) or animal (i.e. wool, silk, cashmere, alpaca).
In order to be colourfast, fibres must first be mordanted, or treated with a soluble metal. Plant (cellulose) fibres such as cotton must also be treated with a tannin.
This kit includes alum (a foodsafe ingredient made of potassium aluminum sulfate) as the mordant, and tannin powder made from the galls formed on oak trees.
It also contains logwood chips (haematoxylon campechianum), which yield gorgeous soft purples, osage sawdust (maclura pomifera) for yellow, ground madder root (rubia tinctoria) for lovely peachy orange shades, and cochineal (dactylopius coccus) for pink.
Comprehensive instructions in the kit will take you through the step by step process of preparing your fibres and dyeing with these dried dyestuffs.
Please note that the dyed fibres in the photos are not included. They are there to show you what colours you can expect to achieve with the dye.