Fairely Well Maid

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dying with Dandelions and other things

First, yesterday I finished the Pirate Head Wraps.  Here are some of the prints I found.  They are too cute.

I also played with some kitchen chemistry today.  Ever since I saw the dandelion stains on Kate's husky's paws I have been curious to see how it would work as a dye.  So out to my damp yard, we have been getting a lot of rain this week, I went and cut the heads of several dandelions.  I brought them back inside and stripped off the petals.  I put them into a pot with a good amount of water and simmered them for 20 minutes.

Before the simmering
After the simmering

In the mean time I simmered the snoods in a water bath to which I added about a tablespoon of alum.  They simmered for about five minutes.

I rinsed the snoods out with cold water and patted them down to remove excess water.  I then prepared the dye bath by straining the plant material through a sieve with cheese cloth in it.  I squeezed the cheese cloth to get all the color out.  The remaining liquid is the dye bath.

In go the snoods.  I covered the bowl with plastic wrap because I have a very inquisitive kitten and I don't know if the dandelion liquid is bad for him.

After an hour and a half soak out came the snoods.  I rinsed them off and put them on a towel to dry.  One of them came out a bit two toned because I had to use a different thread to finish it.  It is interesting how just the difference in texture took the dye differently.  The threads were both cotton size 10 thread.  This is the kind of thing I find so interesting about using natural dyes.

The one in the upper left hand corner is the one that dyed two tone.

I have gotten a similar color from celery leaves, but this is a use for those prevalent dandelions that so many curse in their lawns.


  1. I think Aiko's paws were yellower, but I love the soft yellow in these.

    1. They did come out cool. Need to do some hairnets in this color.