Red Madder


Annatto Seeds

Black Walnut

Osage Orange








Sycamore Chips









I am learning

so much.

pointing at the cochineal
My teacher pointing to the cochineal sample
pokeweed and onion peels
pokeweed and onion peels and a pillow she made
Pat Brodowski
Pat Brodowski


I am taking a class in natural dyes at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, MD with Pat Brodowski. Pat is the vegetable gardener at Monticello (think Thomas Jefferson) and has played with natural dyes her whole life. I am hoping to learn enough that if I need a color that does not appear on the shelves of the yarn store, I can make my own. It is not easy, you need to know about mordants, tannin, heat, timing and measurements. It is chemistry, cooking,Β color and serendipity all rolled into one. Every color and every fiber requires different things. I am highly confused but I’m sticking with it, despite the high temperatures this week. The class is outside and we are using a wood fire to heat the dyes.

Hopefully I will have some pictures of the pieces that I manage to make. But not until Friday.

20 thoughts on “natural

          1. Ah, the arcane knowledge memory bank…my husband has one of those as well. Kinda creeps me out sometimes. But it comes in handy when I need to know something odd.

          2. Hahahah I agree it is rndom and does come in handy sometimes…we had a holiday once and the island we stayed on had a music trivia night..well hubby had a dj business and he is a muso…they played a song and I got from my parents days…totally old as the hills and I got it..everyone looked at me…hilarious..they said no one EVER got it bwhahaaha ..random knowledge.useful or a burden ???? haahah πŸ™‚ Btw it was Magic moments by Perry Como from 1958..i was born in 61..see random hahahhaha πŸ™‚

          3. Yeah, I wouldn’t have gotten Perry Como…maybe Dizzy Gillespie or any of the old-time jazz…or perhaps mid century show tunes. Good for you for getting it though!

  1. This sounds fascinating and with the natural dyes, power going out and open fires you really have gone back to the authentic ways…looking forward to hearing more.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s