“Making natural color from scratch is much like cooking – it’s the same process of using recipes, finding the right ingredients, experimenting, and timing,” Sasha Duerr writes in her book, Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe.
~ What ~
This two-hundred-seventy-two-page hardbound targets those who want to learn more about dyeing fabrics with natural plants, trees, and flowers. After an introduction and explanation of the practice of plant dyeing, five chapters cover the topic, ending with a bibliography, glossary, resources, acknowledgments, and index. Full-color, full-page photographs gracefully cover many pages.
While the beginning is an in-depth discussion what is needed and how to do plant dyeing correctly with different types of fibers, the four following chapters are divided into spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons based on available plants and foliage. Throughout these chapters are instructions for a rose petal curtain, mint table runner with matching napkins, aloe tunic, indigo bedding, hibiscus summer hat, sunflower seed wool rug, madder root scarf, red cabbage baby hat and mittens, and redwood cone sweater to name a few. The last chapter covers mordants, modifiers, and techniques.
Since I have a degree in art, I appreciate books that are detailed in directions and tips when using colors. I like how this one takes common, everyday plants, trees, flowers, and fruits and shows how they can be used as dyes, mainly involving fabrics. Since I have dyed silk scarfs using a microwave oven and powdered dyes that are set with vinegar, I like Duerr’s concepts of using natural items for dyeing instead.
~ Why Not ~
Those who find dyeing messy and time-consuming at times may not appreciate this book that goes into details on coloring fabrics using nature. Others may prefer a book with step-by-step numbered instructions for more simplicity.
~ Who ~
Living in Northern California with her husband and family, the author is a professor at the California College of the Arts with a joint appointment in textiles and fine arts. This is her second book dedicated to natural plant dyes.
~ Want ~
If you are looking for a detailed book with many crafts and projects to make that involve natural plant dyeing, this is a keeper. It is ideal for the novice dyer as well as the experienced one who is seeking a particular color in nature.
Thanks to Blogging for Books for a sample to read and review.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.