Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Fruit Dyes Mordanted with Alum

Here are some photos from my dye book showing the fruit dyes I have made:

Skin of one passion cut off and simmered for 1 hour, then 25g of wool simmered for one hour. This is a beautiful soft green and I can't wait to try it again. This is NOT from an orange passion fruit, just the usual purpley coloured ones.

These blackcurrants were from my pack of frozen 'black forest fruits', I used as many as I could find and didn't weigh them but I suspect it was about 75-100g to just two 25g skeins of wool. I simmered these straight from frozen so had to use a potato masher to squish them in the pan. These were my first bright/deep colours and I love them. The second more purple colour uses the same dyebath, but after the first skein had taken most of the bright colour. I think it's quite interesting as you wouldn't have guessed they were from the same dye! Let me know if you are interested in variegated wool and I will make a photo tutorial :)

I used 50g of red grapes to dye these skeins. It doesn't show well in the photo but the dipped parts of the second skein are a lovely pale blue.

I used a different wool here and I think it is more susceptible to dye. Unfortunately it costs a lot more so I haven't done very many experiments with it!

I used four avocados for this, I think I got a bit carried away! Both skeins were only 25g. The second time I dyed using the avocado pits (below) the colour was completely different, so I think I might have burnt the dye! I would advise cold dyeing with avocado, it seems to be a bit more reliable.

Love this one! The writing says: 
"1 - Simmered with turmeric for 10 minutes (a), then simmered in blackcurrant for 1 hour.
2 - Turmeric and blackcurrant in same dye bath, simmered for 1 hour."

Thanks for reading!


  1. Thanks for documenting your experiments. I particularly like the green you've obtained from turmeric and blackcurrants - look forward to try that mix.

  2. I am loving your blog :) I'm having a go at natural dyeing as we speak. I've been looking at how to dip dye/variegated and do gradations, would be great to see how you do this!

  3. I know this is old now or may be covered elswhere in your blog, but avocado pits give a range of peaches and pinks and oranges, developing over time and they can be used for many dye sessions, they're fabulous! Looks like the second colour was just colour development to me. I'm doing solar dyeing with mine and it's so fun to watch as the days go by. I'm just experimenting with berries now so this is so helpful, thank you Kate.

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