Natural Dye Lightfastness Results
Last summer I did a lot of natural dye experiments, I gave the samples a year to rest, and then put them out in the sun for a month to see how they would hold up. Covering half of each sample retains the original color, and then it’s easy to compare the befores and afters.
These were the sunflower dyes, and they were very colorful when they were fresh. They faded into nondescript tans, and most all of the other dyes did the same.
There were a few that held their color well enough that I will try those plants again, tweaking the process to see if I can get better results.
The pear dye was a lot of work – the twigs had to be soaked for days. But this is a nice rosy brown, so it’s worth the work.
These yellow dyes, from waterleaf, dog fennel, parsley hawthorn, and persimmon, are easy to do, and the results are good even after a year. Plus, I have a ton of these plants so it is good to find a use for them!
The skeins that stayed in the house still show more intense colors, in more shades, and the same with the scarf I knit from them.
I might make something else for myself with those skeins – after all the final product would never be left outside in bright sunlight for 30 days straight! But it will take a lot more experimenting to get yarns that are really colorfast.
The biggest benefit to me has been learning more about the plants that are around me, and the whole dye process.