Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes

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Overview

Selection of the Crafters’ Choice Book Club

Beautiful natural dyes from plants found in the wild or grown in your own backyard.

As more and more crafters are discovering, dyeing your own fabric can yield gorgeous colors. Now master dyer Rebecca Burgess identifies 36 plants that will yield beautiful natural shades and shows how easy it is to make the dyes. Pokeweed creates a vibrant magenta, while a range of ...

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Overview

Selection of the Crafters’ Choice Book Club

Beautiful natural dyes from plants found in the wild or grown in your own backyard.

As more and more crafters are discovering, dyeing your own fabric can yield gorgeous colors. Now master dyer Rebecca Burgess identifies 36 plants that will yield beautiful natural shades and shows how easy it is to make the dyes. Pokeweed creates a vibrant magenta, while a range of soft lavender shades is created from elderberries; indigo yields a bright blue, and coyote brush creates stunning sunny yellows.

Gathering Color explains where to find these plants in the wild (and for those that can be grown in your backyard, how to nurture them) and the best time and way to harvest them; maps show the range of each plant in the United States and Canada. For the dyeing itself, Burgess describes the simple equipment needed and provides a master dye recipe. The book is organized seasonally; as an added bonus, each section contains a knitting project using wools colored with dyes from plants harvested during that time of the year. With breathtaking color photographs by Paige Green throughout, Gathering Color is an essential guide to this growing field, for crafters and DIYers; for ecologists and botanists; and for artists, textile designers, and art students.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
After discussing the importance of connecting with nature through creative work, teacher and artisan Burgess describes the various steps of the dyeing process, from selection and preparation of fiber to necessary tools and supplies. The heart of the book is the collection of recipes featuring a variety of plants, many of which grow wild in the United States. Each includes information on where the plant can be found as well as a full-color photograph of the plant and dyed fiber. The recipes are surprisingly accessible, even to beginners, and Burgess includes ample information on minimizing the environmental impact of the few potentially harmful chemicals used in natural dyeing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579654252
  • Publisher: Artisan
  • Publication date: 5/2/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 215,401
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rebecca Burgess is a teacher and natural dye artisan who has worked for more than ten years creating recipes from local flora. She teaches natural dye workshops throughout the country, to crafters, ecologists, and art students, as well as to apparel giants like Levi Strauss. Rebecca is also the founder of EcologicalArts, an organization dedicated to creating, revitalizing, and teaching functional art forms that utilize natural raw materials. She lives in San Geronimo, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 19, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Gorgeous Book for Visual Learners!

    I was, and still am, highly impressed by this lovely book. I began wet felting and needle felting this year and was hoping for a sustainable natural way to dye my fibers and yarn. It provides in-depth details and descriptions of the process and the writing is accompanied by beautiful photos. Two thumbs and two big toes up!

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    Posted October 11, 2011

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    Posted October 3, 2011

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