Thursday, 28 August 2008

Dyeing with plants

I've been diving into the new book by India Flint, called 'Eco Colour', courtesy of the HWSG library. (One of the very good reasons to join the guild - a fabulous library).

The book is proving to be quite inspirational. The detail on colours that can be obtained, whilst covering wide ground is not extensive, however, the technical information on dyeing is terrific and the ideas included well worth reading, all with a very strong eye to the environmental impact and harm minimisation is excellent. I still have to read further and check some information, but so far this has been very worthwhile and got me looking at all the plants in my backyard.

I then went back to the books I have which cover dyeing: 'Natural Plant dyes' and 'Dyemaking with Australian Flora', both excellent references. Their lists were much more extensive and complete. For example, 'Eucalypts' are one reference for 'Eco Colour' and pages in 'Dyemaking with Australian Flora'. Having said that there are some plants mentioned by India Flint that I couldn't find in the other books. (Weeds in my back yard - hooray), and, I don't think that is the purpose of her book.

Surprisingly, I did find myself getting overwhelmed by the detail in the reference books I have and want to get back to India Flint, for her inspiration. She is trying to do more extensive research into colours by enlisting people around the countryside. I hope she's successful, as that would be a terrific companion to this book. Have a look at this book, it's terrific.

'Eco Colour - botanical dyes for beautiful textiles' by India Flint.

Murdoch Books, Australia, 2008

'Dyemaking with Australian Flora' by The Handweavers and Spinners Guild of Victoria

Rigby, Adelaide, 1974

'Natural Plant Dyes' by Judith V. Hallett

Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1992

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