plant-dyed bavarian new wool

Dyeing Wool with Plant Colours – The Ammersee Wool Project Needs Colour!

I always wanted to learn how that works: dyeing yarn with plants. Finally I had the opportunity and couldn’t be happier with the result!

Renaissance Dyeing Renaissance Dyeing is a family business in Montbel d’en Bas, south-west of France where Andie Luik dyes wool for knitting and embroidery with plant dyes. She organises a few workshops every year and passes on her extensive knowledge. As now twelve kilos of undyed wool from my Ammersee wool project wait for colour, it was obvious: I had to go! But how much could I learn in only five days? Well, it looks like a lot:

Wool in different shades, dyed with plant colours

Here some of our results on the last day. We could not have been happier with them! Many thanks to Andie, who has never ending patience and inexhaustible knowledge and to Geraldine, Mary and Francesca, who were such good company. Together with the wonderful landscape, the lake and a perfect accomodation (I can very much recommend Le Petit Potager) that week was really special.

Lac Montbel, France

It was really thrilling to see the rich, bright colours that emerged from the dye vats every day. Here the skeins are already labelled with the dye recipe to make sure I will be able to remember how the colour was achieved.

Naturally dyed wool in yellow, blue and purple

Very exciting: Dyeing blue shades with Indigo. The moment the yarn comes out of the dye vat and in contact with oxygen, the colour emerges. Like witchcraft!

Wool in different shades of blue, dyed with indigo

Now the rest of my wool waits for colour. The first one will be yellow, as there is so much goldenrod in full bloom right now across the street, I just had to harvest some. Now it dries and waits for enouth mordanted wool to start with. I do hope it works … Whoever is around and would like to experiment with me: let me know!

Goldenrod plants hung up upsinde down to try

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