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  • Writer's pictureSarah Matthess

Natural Dyeing - Beech Leaves

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

Out on a walk in Co. Down, during the last week of October I noted that the beech leaves were still really green, although turning Autumn shades towards the tops of the trees. This is the same area that is in the video, and you will recognise this photo if you've watched it.

I gathered a large bag and felt rather guilty as I did so, but on reflection the leaves are goig to be falling any day now anyway so I only helped them along a bit. When home, I stuffed the dye pot to the top, and left soaking overnight. I used 1:1 ratio (wool to dry weight of leaves). Next morning, gentle simmer for an hour, and strained off the dye. A surprising depth of colour in the water for a bag of end-of-the-season leaves. In went the pre-mordanted (Alum/Cream of Tartar) wool.

And an hour later, out this came. I was really happy with the depth of colour here, for just a bag of leaves. I'll be posting more on beech leaves in the Spring. This is nice soft Jacob's hogg fleece. The brown has lovely coppery, reddish undertones. A really delightful colour and one I'll be doing again and again.

It spun up into this skein. About 15wpi, and a new colour to add to my Shetland knits pallet.

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