Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Dyeing with Elderberries

[caption id="attachment_2529" align="aligncenter" width="456" caption="Elderberry dye soup"]Elderberry dye soup[/caption]

The Elberberries were out in full bloom a couple of weeks ago and I decided that it was time to try some more berry dyeing. I still didn't have a regular mordant like Alum so once again I turned to the tutorial 'Making Natural Dyes from Plants' for their instructions on using salt as a mordant. I had a go with the same wool I used last time for the Blackberry dyeing and I am at the moment knitting up some berry socks by making stripes with the two yarns. As I had quite a large amount of Elderberries I decided to have a go at dyeing this pink raw silk fabric I had lying around. I like the colour it turned out but I did make one mistake though. I learned later that when dyeing silk you shouldn't boil it as silk goes hard when it reaches higher temperatures. My piece of silk did go slightly hard but nevermind. I still used the silk piece to sew myself the Bubbly Berry Skirt which you can see on my blog 'Grey Duckling'.

[caption id="attachment_2528" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Before and after dyeing raw silk with Elderberry"]Before and after dyeing raw silk with Elderberry[/caption]

The images in this post are copyright of Eddie Roued-Cunliffe. You are hereby granted permission to use them for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit Eddie and link back to this page. If you are using them and talking about this post I would love to hear from you in the comments.


  1. [...] was going to do a bit of dyeing with elderberries for Historic Crafts and decided to try it out on this piece of raw silk I had lying around. It was [...]

  2. [...] in reach to make both so I chose cordial. I did however go hunting down the road and found loads of berries for dyeing – which you can read about on Historic Crafts. But I would never want to use these berries [...]

  3. [...] reds, greens and browns often occur too. I have personally tried dyeing with Blackberries and Elderberries, both resulting in lovely shades of purple. As do Raspberries, Mulberries, Blueberries, Pokeweed [...]


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