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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
HALL OF FAMEon April 30, 2001
I am new to natural dyeing and found this book to be extremely helpful. I looked at many dyeing books before purchasing this one. Unlike some other books this one gives tons of useful information without getting too technical or overwhelming. Because it is in full-color it also lets you see examples of the colors you can achieve. There are excellent step-by-step instructions accompanied by photos to guide you seamlessly through each process.
The book starts out with an introduction to the history of dyeing. It then discusses, choosing equipment and items to dye. Next, testing the water pH, preparing fibers and fixing colors is covered. Making and using mordants is also covered including timesaving tips on how to combine mordanting and dyeing. Conveniently, two charts help you choose the proper mordant and assist.
Preparing plants for dyeing follows. The processes for hot, cold and all-in-one dyeing are then demonstrated. A chart including all the dye plants shows you which methods will work best for each one. Special techniques for dyeing with indigo, woad and safflower are covered separately. There is also great advice on experimenting with color and a good explanation of how dyes are absorbed into different fibers.
Information on the over 60 dye plants follows. Each one has a picture of the plant, a written description of it and it's color along with information on cultivation, harvesting and the dyeing procedure. A set of color swatches showing color with and without modifiers or mordants is also included. Sometimes even a second set of swatches is shown for different parts of the plant.
If you are new to dyeing and want a through, yet easy-to-follow guide to natural dyeing this is definitely the book to get. It hard to imagine with all this information that even a more advance dyer wouldn't find a few helpful tips.
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on October 4, 1999
Jenny Dean does a marvelous job in this book. At first glance, the photography is so clear and wonderful, that you think it is all "good looks" and couldn't possibly have any substance. But then she surprizes you with extensive yet step-by-step dyeing projects like "25 skeins from one dyestuff". The instructions are so thorough, you can't mess it up! The book is worth it for the directions on how to get three colours out of safflower alone! As a textile historian specializing in ancient Japanese textiles, the opportunity to try the same technique the Heian dyers used is such a thrill. Buy it!
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on September 2, 2001
I bought this book in order to learn about using natural dyestuffs. The format makes it easy for the beginner to explore natural materials available around the house and also for materials ordered from a dyers supply. Following her directions, I was able to successfully dye wool fibers using goldenrod, cochineal, logwood and daylilies from my yard. I highly recommend this book for the beginning fiber artist interested in natural dye sources.
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on May 15, 1999
This is a comprehensive look at all the processes and techniques of natural dyeing, clearly presented and well illustrated. Looks at mordanting, pH levels,and dye plants, and gives detailed instructions for achieving specific colours.
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on January 30, 2001
Fantastic book! Beautiful photos but also in-depth technical information. Takes the mystery and confusion out of natural dying. I don't feel nearly as intimidated about trying it out.
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on March 25, 2006
Out of all the natural dye books that I've pruchaced, this one has definately been the most helpful and the most used. The color photographs of the dye-plants used makes plant identification simple. Also the color photos of the cloth swatches after dyeing with all combinations of dye-stuff, mordants and modifiers makes a lot of the guess work disappear. This book has been my best purchase yet!
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on February 16, 2008
This is, or rather, WAS the book I recommended to beginning dyers. So many natural dye books come and go out of print, it's hard to find one to consistently recommend. This one is a mix of a fairly broad range of dye plants, a few of which I hadn't seen mentioned elsewherem, some pretty good technical information, both for the beginner and the experienced, AND beautiful and inspiring pictures.
I agree that the "color swatches" could have been actual photographs. Still, they give you an idea of what colors you might possibly achieve. Also, the symbols next to the swatches that describe how the colors were achieved are a little confusing so that I constantly find myself looking back through the book for the key that explains the symbols.
Of my stack of natural dye books, this is the one I reach for most frequently in the past few years.
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on January 20, 2010
I have acquired quite a few books on dyeing with natural materials after becoming obsessed with it recently. This one I have had to borrow from the library as it is cost prohibitive to buy a used copy. This book is by far the most helpful with its wonderful photos and clear instructions. I am very excited as Jenny Dean has just announced on her blog that it is going to be revised and republished in September/October 2010!!!!!!!
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on November 28, 2013
this is going to be my 'learning project' for next summer, and I've heard this source is the best to learn from. I can't wait to get started!
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on May 29, 2015
Excellent resource for natural dyeing. A must have reference book .
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