Tuesday, October 16, 2012

backyard dyes

two heads of purple cabbage used in the dye pot

i've been dyeing for a while now, but i have had little or no garden space in the places i've lived so i have met neighbors to harvest dye plants, collected material from community and public gardens that i've worked in and done the occasional foraging from trees and shrubs in my local environment. 

dyer's coreopsis on left,  zinnia elegans on right
this summer i had my first taste of garden to garment using all dyes i had grown in my backyard. this experience was more than divine and gave me a deep appreciation for the slow process of creating regenerative textiles. 

mint leaves, an abundant local source of yellow and green dyes. and an absolutely essential kitchen herb!
now that the plantspeople garden is in progress i look forward to growing many dyes to use and share. stay tuned!


Erin said...

Deepa, of course I never even thought to use mint for dye. We almost always have a crazy mint patch in the backyard. And my 8 year old Lilah is a bit of a little garden witch. She'd love to do some dyeing with me.
You inspire me once again!

plants people said...

Thanks Erin!

Have fun with the mint, it makes beautiful yellows and minty/olive greens with iron on silk, wools & cottons. Not to mention the divine steam facial you get while preparing the dye.

Let me know how it goes!