Click to enter Studio Club Members Area

You’ve viewed

You haven't yet viewed any products on our store. If you've been here before, you may need to sign in.

Journal

Dyeing wool with onions

This is a brilliant way to begin dyeing with plants. It is frugal as you are using a waste food product; it is safe as all the things you are using are non-toxic; it is simple as the tannins in the onions mean that you don’t need a separate mordant. You can keep your dye for another batch of wool – add in more onions if you want the colour to be richer or simply repeat step 2-4 for lighter coloured yarn.

You need:

  • A big pan – big enough to take your wool and swirl it about.
  • A sieve for straining the dye bath.
  • A large bowl or tub.
  • A skein or two of natural undyed wool.
  • As many papery onion skins as you can get your hands on – save them from your cooking, ask friends or the greengrocer. The more onion skins you have, the deeper the colour.

Method:

1) Make the dye bath

Put all the onion skins into your pan, cover with water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for half an hour and then leave to cool and let it steep overnight.

Take out the onion skins and put them on the compost heap. Drain the dye through a sieve into your tub.

2) Prepare your wool

While you are preparing the dye bath you can soak your wool 0 untwist the skeins and put them in cold water and leave to absorb the water over 3-4 hours. Gently squeeze the water to make sure it becomes evenly wet.

Drain the water off.

3) Dye your wool

Add the damp skeins to the pan and heat it back up very gently to below simmering point – you don’t want to boil the wool. Stir the wool around regularly to ensure that the coverage is even.

Keep it hot for an hour and then allow it to cool naturally. You can remove the wool from the dye pot at this point or leave it to steep longer for a deeper colour.

4) Wash your wool

Take the wool from the dye pot and rinse it until the water runs clear, then gently wash with a wool detergent and hang it up to dry naturally. Avoid tangling the wool.

I would love to know how you get on with dyeing your wool. Please tag me @snapdragon.life on Instagram or use the hashtag #snapdragonlife.

You may also enjoy …

Comments: 0 (Add)

You must be signed in to post a comment. If you're already a member, please sign in now. If not, you can create an account here.

Snapdragon social

I wrote about this rose - which is outside our bedroom - in today’s newsletter. 

About how it took over a decade to bloom. About late bloomers and a song I love. 

If you fancy reading it (or listening to it) you can sign up here https://www.snapdragonlife.com/Friday_Letters/ or via my profile. 

#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #floralstories #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #slowfloralstyle #petalsandprops #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow #ihavethisthingwithflowers #moodforfloral #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife
It is the generosity of sweet peas that I find so amazing. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The more you pick the more you get.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Picked and plonked into jars, perfect to give away.

#simpleandstill #gatherandcurate #growyourownflowers #gatheredstyle #nestandflourish #calm_collected #petalandprops #plantsmakepeoplehappy #cornersofmyworld #aseasonalway #cornersofmyhome #myhappyviews #myhomevibe #inspiredbynature #natureandnourish #slowdownwithstills #embracingtheseasons #ofsimplethings #foreverfaffing #collectandstyle #whimsicalwonderfulwild #tinytinymoments #aseasonalyear #mystoryoflight #scotland
Flowers so often remind me of people.
These buff pink poppies, greyed magenta gorgeousness, were in @jennykingcome ‘s wedding bouquet. A yearly reminder of a wonderful couple. 
Here they are ravaged by heavy rain but still quite glorious.

#growyourownflowers #wearetheark #cornersofmygarden #aseasonalway #thissimplescene #mindfulgardening #ayearinmygarden
The garden as the sun sinks - light through the hornbeam hedge. A blaze of colour for just a few minutes every evening. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We have been away. In London for a few days to celebrate it being 35 years since our first date.  It should have been to a Marc Cohn concert, but when that was cancelled, we decided to go anyway.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
35 years seems like an impossibly long time, it is forever and it is the blink of an eye.  Like all the best things.

#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #wearetheark #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #floralstories #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #slowfloralstyle #livethelittlethings #thehappynow #ihavethisthingwithflowers #moodforfloral #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife
It is the last gasp of the columbines - their petals were scattered by overnight rain. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I shall leave them to make their jaunty seed heads amongst the grass.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you are looking for a plant that is happy in long grass you couldn't do better - in fact I think it is happier there than in a border - it uses the grass as a prop so doesn't blow over in sudden gusts.

#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
#natureandnourish
#cornersofmygarden 
#daysofsimpleandslow
#ournaturedays
#aquietmoment
#pocketsofslow
#wearetheark 
#aseasonalway #amomentofwonder
The bright orange flower Fox and cubs (Pilosella aurantiaca) arrived a few years ago - right at the top of the perennial meadow. 
Now it is gradually spreading down the slope, threading it’s way through the dark columbines. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It’s an invasive weed in a lot of countries but here it has a perfect level of scattering itself around - bright and glowing amongst the grass. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
#natureandnourish
#aseasonalway
#daysofsimpleandslow
#ournaturedays
#aquietmoment
#pocketsofslow
#thesweetlifeunscripted
#folkandstory
It is my birthday today and I intend to spend most of the day in the garden. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
There are a couple of orders to send out and some seedlings to drop off, but then it will just be me and this little menace pottering around the vegetable patch and putting seedlings in the ground (and hopefully not digging them up).
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Then I will be away from the main Instagram feed for a couple of weeks. 
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I will still pop up from time to time in the Studio Club stories feed, but otherwise I'll be on a social media break.

📷 @katgoldin 

#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
#natureandnourish
#aseasonalway
#daysofsimpleandslow
#ournaturedays
#aquietmoment
#pocketsofslow
#thesweetlifeunscripted
#folkandstory
#slowliving #mindfulgardening
My elder daughter Zoë asked for a stripy jumper knitted with wool dyed from the garden.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
These are the finished skeins - currently curing in the studio - dyed with sweet cicely, dock, bay, birch and nettle.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In a month they will be ready to knit with.
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The slowest of slow fashion.

#slowstitching #slowfashion #naturaldyeing #foragedcolour #foragedcolor #naturaldyersofinstagram #sustainablemaking #sustainablecraft #plantdyedyarn #plantdyes
snapdragon.life
FacebookTwitterPinterest

About Snapdragon Life

In the Studio Club I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

Find out more about The Studio Club

Loading