knits by sachi

Naturally beautiful

on November 17, 2013

Naturally beautiful

The boy’s hair is naturally dyed with dahlia flowers.

Too wet, too cold… I always find an excuse not looking after the garden in winter.

I think it is a bit of a mess, my garden. I am too afraid to see what is happening in there. May be I would find blackberry branches invading everywhere. May be I would find unknown mushrooms growing in the shades.

But I can see my dahlias still going very strong. I planted them a couple of years ago to use the flowers for plant dye. Dahlia is very easy to grow and develop many flowers.


You can dye in yellow no matter what the colour the dahlia flower is.

Plant dye is much easier than some of you may think. I do it in a very relaxed way.

You need

2 large pots for dye

plants for the dye

Alum (available from chemist)

wool yarn

Make your wool yarn into a loose hank of 50 to 100g. Soak it over night in a soapy water. Just a squirt of washing liquid in a bucket of water is fine. Next day, rinse it and put it into a pot of water with 1-2 tsp of Alum. Alum is a mordant which helps the colour stick to wool.

Simmer gently for 30 min.

Meanwhile, prepare the dye bath. Cook a handful of dahlia flower in another large pot filled 3/4 of water for 30 mins.

Cool the yarn slightly and rinse with tepid water.

Cool the dye bath a little and discard the flower. Place the yarn in the dye bath and simmer gently for 1 hour.

There isn’t much you should worry about. Just be careful not to shock the wool with hot and cold. Do not boil the dye bath once the yarn is placed or agitate it during the process. You don’t want your wool all felted.

You can leave the pot simmering and forget about it for a while. It is natural, it is safe and you can make your original beautiful yarns.

Like this.


It is interesting that you can dye beautiful colours with humble wild flowers but not with beautiful and fragrant flowers like roses.

You can dye with carrot top leaves but not with carrots.

Is there a message from the nature? May be there is.

5 responses to “Naturally beautiful

  1. Tammie Hill says:

    Wow, you make wool dying easy! I may try it, but first I need to learn to spin the wool. For Christmas two years ago my daughter and her family gave me a beautiful drop spindle and book. I’ve been wanting to learn and knowing how to dye also,just might motivate me.
    Thank you!

    • knitsbysachi says:

      Drop spindle is fun once you get a hang of it. I would like to write about it some day. My friend can spin with a handmade spindle of a potato with a pencil stuck to it! If you can find a spinning group in your area the member will show you how to spin. I joined a spinners’ group 10 years ago.

  2. Cheryl says:

    That little boy is too cute!! Would love to know how to make one. Love the felted hat.

  3. Cheryl says:

    That would be wonderful! I’ve always wanted to learn to make a waldorf doll.

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