Colours from our backyard

Eucalyptus wool

These are the results of my eucalyptus and brown onion skin dyeing. From top to bottom: eucalyptus overdyed with 50/50 eucalyptus & brown onion skin; eucalyptus overdyed with 100% brown onion skin; eucalyptus only. I’m very pleased with how it turned out – the eucalyptus only I thought a little disappointing at first since I was hoping for more intense colour but I have come to appreciate its delicacy.

I’m looking at natural dyeing processes and came across the work of Sophie Cantie via whipup. I think it’s fascinating to look at the colours produced in different environments. I purchased Sophie’s Earth Palette and it is beautiful and inspirational.

For my next dye batch I hope to include different fibres – cotton or linen – and produce different shades. Cellulose fibres like these require a mordant for colour pick up and fastness. I tried out rhubarb leaves. Don’t. Simmering rhubarb leaves smell utterly foul. I have the stockpot out on the deck now and I’m not sure that I have the stomach to use it.



  1. A-L said,

    September 30, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how beautiful colour you can get with the onion skins alone? I was really surprised when I tried it last year. Also – you can get nice variation to the depth of the colour by adding more/less water. Or sinking the yarns in the dye bath one after another (first one gets darkest and then the colour fades on next skeins…) if interested -> I knitted a cardi for my youngest one holding two strands of onion-skin dyed wool yarn together.

    • froginthepond said,

      September 30, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      I’m keen to have another dye session, playing around with depth of colour and successive immersions. There’s wattle in bloom and another native I don’t know the name of that has brilliant blue-purple flowers – that should be worth playing around with.

  2. Sonia said,

    March 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Thank you for mentionning me & my little dyeings, what a honor ! Just a little thing … my name is Sonia, not Sophie šŸ˜‰

    • froginthepond said,

      March 2, 2012 at 8:33 am

      Sorry for the name mixup, Sonia!

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