Dyeing Textiles Naturally – with Faye Jacobs

Most of the garments we buy are made with dyes that are synthetically produced. Depending on where they are manufactured, excess dye may end up in waterways to poison fish and invertebrates. In contrast, natural dyes made from the plants around us are non-toxic to the environment, and can be obtained for free. Most of us have a little knowledge about natural dyes – such as using onion skins for yellow or beetroot for pink. But what other natural dye options do we have, how can we use them, and how can we help our naturally dyed garments keep their colour.

Coming to Peterborough in Ontario Canada during the month of May 2016, I heard about the weavers guild here and I wondered if someone here might know about natural dyes to use on textiles made from animals and plants such as wool, silk and cotton. Well I came to to the right place! Faye Jacobs is a Textile artist and textile sculpturer. As part of her vocation she teaches a range of workshops on using natural dyes. Faye uses dyes for natural textiles but also for other materials like paper.

Faye is a very active lady who has always had an interest in textiles. She was on the national Canadian Ski team from 1959-62. Even here, she knitted sweaters for members of her team.

On the 2nd June, I spoke with Faye Jacobs about using natural dyes on textiles.

To listen to this programme about Dyeing Textiles Naturally please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=36660711-332a-471f-a051-84234fb867b8

For more information about

This show was originally broadcast on the 7th July 2016 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Faye Jacobs, uses natural dyes give new life to an old silk scarf

Faye Jacobs, uses natural dyes give new life to an old silk scarf

Patterns are obtained by pinching the fabric with elastic bands

Patterns are obtained by pinching the fabric with elastic bands

Beautiful earthy hues obtained from onion skins

Beautiful earthy hues obtained from onion skins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of the colours obtained with natural dyes on wool

Some other colours obtained with natural dyes on wool

 

Flowers can be used to great effect as natural dyes.

Flowers can be used to great effect as natural dyes.

 

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3 thoughts on “Dyeing Textiles Naturally – with Faye Jacobs

  1. I’m busy crocheting an afghan with dozens of frwool samples I dyed using local plants decades ago – wide range of colours and I’m amazed at how well they blend together. It was great fun to experiment & to try out different mordant results too.

      • Huge range including pinks, purple (elderberry + tin mordant), blue (indigo), yellows & greens as well as the usual palette of natural shades. Too many to list, but I can try to answer queries re either plants or colours if you like. A lot of the labels have dropped off the skeins over the years, alas, but I’m going to keep a record of what is still identified. I also have some folders of labelled samples.

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