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The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes: Personalize Your Craft with Organic Colors from Acorns, Blackberries, Coffee, and Other Everyday Ingredients Paperback – January 19, 2011
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Natural dyes’ unique qualities can make magical color vibrate and glow with hints of comingled, naturally occurring tints, and the richness of these living colors from plants—renewable, nontoxic, and biodegradable sources—is an ecologically friendly alternative to synthetic dyes. As Duerr provides background information on both natural and chemically produced dyes, she also discusses the growing Slow Movement in reaction to the speed and thoughtlessness of modern life. There are slow approaches not only to food but also to fashion and textiles, and Duerr emphasizes the similarities between cooking and the dye-extraction process. She covers the basics of equipment and safety measures, shares recipes using everything from sour grass to olive leaves, offers instructions for keeping a recipe and swatch book, and lists lots of projects, including tablecloths, scarves, and beads. With eye-catching line drawings, 190 color photos, and a plant palette of sample plants and dye colors, this attractive, user-friendly guide will delight many a do-it-yourselfer. --Whitney Scott
“Ideal for those who love the artful side of both gardening and crafting.” —American Reference Books Annual
“A true cornucopia of slow fashion goodness and ‘soil to studio’ guidance.” —Eco Salon
“Sasha has the background knowledge and experience to make this book one you will refer to repeatedly. Experienced dyers will find what [Duer] has to say informative.” —The Hartford Examiner
“The only book you would ever need to spend weeks or months or years exploring the latent possibilities of the plants you find in your own environment as sources of rich and wondrous color. What a gift!” —Plant Whatever Brings You Joy
“An absolute must have for fashion and textile artists, designers, students and educators.” —Social Alterations
“For anyone interested in exploring natural dyes, The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes is a must-have.” —Curbly.com
“An expertly written and beautifully photographed book.” —Oklahoman
Top customer reviews
A lot of fun saving your plant and food scraps to try and dye a piece. You should see my freezer! Onion skins, avocado pieces. I don't have the plants she has because of where I live, but fun to see which plants she uses. Lovely pictures of pieces she has dyed. Nice size book, quality paper, I am a book lover from way back when and have a personal Library. I hope this review is helpful, I encourage you to read all the reviews, I read lots of reviews before I make my purchases here. Have fun, and oh, would be fun for the kids to join in, but ensure supervision and always, always, ALWAYS label your jars of dye, also date them. That way no one is confused! Good luck and have fun!
1) She uses non- toxic mordants
2) Has some easy to use plants Ive not seen mentioned (avacado peels and pits, horsetail)
3) Has about 15 plants in back with a color chip illustrating what (wool I assume) would look like if dyed with that plant and 1) no mordant 2) alum mordant 3) iron mordant and 4) both mordants.
4) some lovely project ideas with instructions
5) Very cool instructions given for 4 shades from St JOhnswort.
1)The paint chips are lighter than what I was getting.
2) There were many plants mentioned in the text that weren't included with the paint chips.
3) Some times a beautifull ball of yarn would be shown but no mordant info given.
It's very easy to follow and the information is just great. The author very thoroughly talks about what is needed to dye textiles naturally---from textile preparation, plant preparation, mordants, etc. and how to do this sustainably in each step of dying. I've read parts of older natural dye books, and I find this one to be a particularly up to date account of natural dying. She talks about how natural dying doesn't equal sustainable dying, that many old methods of natural dying were sustainable and many were not. For each step in the dying process she gives a range of options for different situations. For example, you'll need a fair amount of water for dying. She talks about using rainwater, water from local bodies of water ( the most sustainable choices) to using tap water and how this can be done eco-consciously as well if it's your only option.
So all in all I find this book to be very thorough and an absolutely wonderful resource for those wishing to experiment with natural dying in a sustainable fashion. It's a very "eco-forward" natural dye book.
Thank you, Sasha, for writing this book and sharing your art!