THE BLISS & BEAUTY OF NATURAL DYES

WORDS & IMAGES: KATE WEINER

Inspired by a whole lotta DIY goddesses (from Grace & Juna of Dig In Farm to Adriana of Moonshadow) I've been experimenting with natural dyes lately. It's so freaking cool to go out for a walk and resee the vibrant plant life surrounding as a source of color. 

For much of my life, goldenrod was a sign that poison ivy was close by. But after taking an Abundance Workshop at Dig In Farm, this lush "weed" (it blooms a brilliant yellow at the end of summer and the start of fall) is rocking my world. If you're looking to infuse new life into an old cotton tee or bland ball of yarn, goldenrod is your go-to. It's ripe for harvesting this time of year, pretty much everywhere, and FREE! I've also fallen madly in love with elderberries, whose tart berries make for nourishing syrups and a gorgeous dye for natural linens. 

The process of natural dyeing has given me a creative outlet for learning about where I'm from and the ecosystem that I live in. In that spirit, this week's to-do is an invitation to explore and experiment with natural dyes in your own neck of the woods. Ready to embark on a project? I recommend Rebecca Burgess's stunning book,"Harvesting Color" and Kristine Vejar of A Verb For Keeping Warm whose guide to modern natural dyes is that perfect combination of luscious to look at and informative to read. 

Work with what you have. Rediscover the beauty surrounding. And have fun with it! To me, that's the bliss & beauty of natural dyes and lucky for you, you can begin on your own journey in harvesting color this very day. Everything you need is already there.