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Entries in natural dyes (9)


isbn 9784072506424 working with wool 羊毛のしごと

this book is lovely, and includes all aspects of natural wool crafts: felting, spinning, knitting, dyeing, and weaving. the projects are simple and natural, and meant as an introduction for crafters who are beginners at working with wool. since the instructions are in japanese, they are probably most useful as a inspriration than as a first project.

it includes a section that explains the different varieties of sheep and the characteristics of their wool: fleece, spun and plyed.

especially valuable for anyone interested in learning more about japanese natural plant dyes, this section includes photos of the plants growing, the part of the plant used to make the dyes, and the dye results.

collecting acorns in the fall.

this is a detail from the page above, showing the persimmon tree. called kaki or かき カキ in japanese. the 3 photos on the bottom of the page are the materials used: white fleece, leaves of the persimmon tree, and the mordant alum.

3 dyes. upper left: loquat, or japanese medlar. in japanese, it's name is biwa びわ ビワ. the leaves of the plant are used to dye fibers, and it creates one of the most classic of 'japanese natural dye shades'.

top right: acorns and acorn caps. from the oak tree, in japanese kunugi くぬぎ クヌギ.

at bottom: walnut. onigurumi

the outcome: wool dyed with the three differents dyes shown above, all using alum mordants.

top left: flowing cherry tree branches before the flowers bloom hana saku mae no sakura no koeda

top right:chips from the sappanwood tree suou 蘇芳 (すおう)

lower left:alder cones yashabushi 矢車ぶし(やしゃぶし)

lower right: ecualyptus leaves yuukari ユーカリ


isbn 9784766204292 plant dye book 草木の染色工房

this book is a comprehensive reference of plants used for natural dyeing. it includes photos of the plants growing, the flowers, and the results of dyeing with a variety of mordants.

128 pages.


isbn 4579111192 felt and fabric rendezvous フェルトが布と出逢いったら

the book is beautiful, very simple, natural and organic patterns and colors. the photography itself is lovely.

with a palette of natural wool colors, the projects include various combinations of felt with fabric. these combinations make for some completely original items.

projects include: nuno-felted scarf and nuno felt spots on skirts and bags; hangers and other items covered with felt; felt combined with knit slippers and scarves; small decorative felt items; a variety of felt bags; felt coasters and placements in natural hues.

i think this book is best suited for an experienced felter.
the directions are in japanese, and while there are how-to diagrams, many of the projects are a little complex. there are also simple projects that are flat work, but if you wanted to try many projects, this book would be very challenging for a beginner. it does have beautiful pictures and the projects show off the beauty of totally natural wool.

95 pages.

flickr set here.


natural dyestuffs on display at the miho museum

these dye materials were on display at the gift shop of the miho museum, which is a lovely art museum in a stunning site.

the top left is 'miscanthus tinctorius' or kari yasu  かりやす in japanese (a reed that produces a yellow dye). the top right is 'philodendron' or kihada きはだ黄檗(the bark produces a yellow dye). the small cones in forefront are labled yasha やしゃ 矢車 in japanese only. more information about dyeing with these alder cones used for brown dyes described here.

a lot of this is my best (non-native-speaker) guessing. if you know more or better, please feel to share. mostly, i was impressed and delighted to find this sort of display, that included the dyestuff itself, the japanese name for it in both kanji and phonetic kana, and english!!



gobaishi 五倍子 ごばいし

at one of the natural wool classes at my favorite wool store in kyoto, kin no hitsuji, we dyed wool with gobaishi, ごばいし 五倍子 a japanese gall that is created on japanese sumac (i was a little complicated and hard to understand in japanese!!). with just alum and gobaishi, it didn't really change the color too much, but with iron, it turned a lovely heathery purple.
the gobaishi galls boiled for an hour in a mesh bag, they turned mushy
into the pot with iron added



the outcome.
if anybody out there knows more about gobaishi, i'd love to hear from you!