Dyeing Wool with Mulberries

October 23, 2017 § Leave a comment

I have a lot of 100% natural wool felt laying around. And this past week of spring there are suddenly mulberries everywhere.

I have always wanted to delve into natural dyes – lately I have been on a bit of a drive to get to some things on that always elusive to-do list. One Saturday night I decided it was time to dye with the mulberries themselves.

I did a quick google – no fancy chemicals here to use as mordants or fixatives. I’d have to go with the cupboard staples and hope for the best: salt and vinegar.

First I cooked the mulberries till I had some strong, dark, purple juice. I let it cool overnight. I also soaked the wool felt overnight to ensure it was absorbing liquid.

mulberry dyed felt mulberries

mulberry dyed felt in strainer

In the morning I cooked the felt in my special dyeing-only pan with some salt – a good handful of salt simmered in the water to dissolve, then add felt and simmer for 5 mins.

mulberry dyed felt plain in pot

In goes the mulberry juice and a good swig of vinegar. Simmer another 10 minutes, then rinse and hang to dry. The felt looked lovely and purple in the pot, but when rinsed it revealed a lovely soft grey color with a hint of purple.

mulberry dyed felt purple pot

Next time I will let the felt cool in the pot overnight again to see if I get more purple in the finished product. However grey is one of my favourite colours at the moment so I am please with the result.

mulberry dyed felt finished

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