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Plumtree Church

Home / Church Life / Fellowship Events / Natural Dyes Workshop

A Saturday in July provided us with the opportunity to get messy at one of Paul's Fellowship Events - making, and using, natural dyes. 

Paul had been researching what natural ingredients could be used to dye cloth. He put out a request at one Sunday service for avocado stones (duly supplied by the score) and at another for elderberries (safely frozen until needed).

We met up at the Burnside Hall ready to go. We gathered all the ingredients together - Paul had brought most of them along, but there was some hands-on work required for walnuts (handy tree in the churchyard)  and stinging nettles (a handy patch also in the churchyard - gloves were provided).

After appropriate chopping, pounding and smashing of ingredients, pans of potential dye were put on the hob to boil. We discovered that woad is really smelly when it's cooking! We added rhubarb leaves to make the dye stick.

After the ingredients had boiled for a while, the pans were taken outside to cool a little and cloths were put in them to steep. While the magic was happening outside (we hoped) we all had lunch inside.

We hung up the cloths on a newly fashioned clothes line (great knots, Paul) hoping that they would dry overnight. Here is a selection of photos taken at the event, click on a picture to see a larger version.