Resources for Eco Dying Using Australian Plants

Of course, there’s always experimentation, but here are a few resources I’ve been loving lately.

I have been sewing a LOT lately, and the more I think about where my fabric comes from, the more I want to:

  • use sustainable fabrics that
  • use eco-friendly dyes

Plus – ultimately, I love it when I can bring in my own artistry.

I ended up searching the internet for information about eco dyeing using Australian plants and I did not find a comprehensive resource in terms of:

  • what plants to use
  • how to do the dyeing step by step

What I did find are the three resources I wanted to share with you today; tow of these are the resources I’m using to guide my own eco dyeing experiments and the other one I found while researching this article today.

 

Rebecca Desnos (UK)

I recently bought a very affordable eBook from Rebecca Desnos called “Botanical Colour at Your Fingertips”. I bought the eBook version but obviously, if you prefer printed, you could track that down too.

What I especially love about Rebecca’s book is:

  1. she is vegan so has lots of plant based options
  2. she loves low toxicity in dyeing so her methods in this book are all really accessible and don’t require me to have specialist equipment
  3. although she doesn’t cover Australian plants in particular, she does encourage you to experiment with the plants around you

The eBook was also only six euros which is about $10AUD which is SO AFFORDABLE + there’s no need for specialist equipment so I can just start right now – love it!

It’s also incredibly beautiful and very easy to read – no weird jargon.

1. Rebecca Desnos

2. Sally Blake

3. Gumnut Magic

2. Sally Blake (AU)

The first time I saw Sally Blake’s website I thought “whoa – this woman either has a tonne of spare time or this is literally her life”. To be honest, I found it a bit overwhelming. That was topped off by the fact that there aren’t really any instructional blogs or how-to’s on her site. AND there’s not really any  information about dyeing practices to achieve any of the widely varied colours Sally has managed to document.

In hindsight, I realise she is an academic and hasn’t set her website up for marketing any product to people – it really is her life’s work.

Having said that, Sally’s work is very inspiring and she does run workshops to share her dyeing skills. I just visited my sister-in-law who had attended one of Sally’s workshops in Canberra just before COVID lockdown.

The main value of Sally’s website as a resource is that it is very inspiring to see that someone has dyed extensively using Australian plants, and to see the variety of colours that are available from dyeing with Australian plants. Her “Eucalyptus Dye Database” is a total inspiration.

 

Have you done any dyeing with Australian plants?

I’d love to hear about your favourite plants and colours in the comments 🙂

3. Gumnut Magic

The final resource is one I only found today is Gumnut Magic. The thing I love about this resource is:

  • They offer online courses and books
  • The courses includes information specifically relating Australian plants

I have not purchased anything from Gumnut Magic but I definitely would if I wanted an in-depth, step by step process to follow. I may buy something of hers later. 

She is currently offering pay what you can which is articulated really beautifully in case you aren’t sure what you SHOULD pay. You can check it out here: https://learn.gumnutmagic.com/