An outdoor dyer, I love when spring rolls around and the dye pots come out of storage. Once the annual county wide burn ban is lifted the first fire is lit using dye materials stored over winter, such as dried polypore mushrooms, tansy buttons or gathered wind blown lichens. Each dye pot is unique and is never replicated exactly the same. Part of the joy of natural dyeing is being in sync with the seasons, each year can be different depending on the ever changing weather. Once flowering, local flowers and plants are used for color, harvesting only what is needed and leaving plenty for wildlife. Various colors can be obtained depending on the time they are collected. With proper care, naturally dyed fibers can last a long time, but can eventually fade, this is part of the natural dye cycle and should be embraced as another stage of their beauty.
Caring for your naturally dyed fibers:
Store out of direct sunlight
Hand or machine wash with like colors in cool water using a PH neutral detergent
Lay flat or hang to dry
Variations in color and some vegetable matter is normal