Textile gallery

Here are some of the textiles I have made using plant dyed fabrics.
Also some plant dyed raw materials to give an idea of the full palette that can be achieved.

Antique effect applique in madder dyed wool and silk

Cut back machine applique sample with three layers of silk/wool gauze on a fine wool base. Mostly dyed with madder.

Red river quilt by Susan Dye 2014

River Ran Red Susan Dye 2014 37”x48” Contemporary quilt wall-hanging to honour the dyers and weavers of Norwich before the advent of synthetic dyes. Colours and forms inspired by a jacquard woven shawl in Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell.

Red River Quilt Sample  Susan Dye

Red River Quilt sample

Madder on on wool/silk fabric

A selection of madder-dyed lightweight fabrics which I used for my red river quilt.

Plant dyed blue faced leicester yarn

The plant dye palette on blue faced Leicester woollen yarn. The plants used were Madder (reds, pinks, orange), Weld (acid yellow), Dyer’s Chamomile (golden yellow), Japanese Indigo (Blues). The greens were obtained by overdyeing yellow yarn with blue.

TG dyed silk in garden

A rainbow in silk with madder, weld, Japanese indigo, logwood (purple), cochineal (pink) and perisan berries (gold). These last three not home grown.

Madder-dyed wool carding and spinning

Wool takes madder very well if you know how to handle the madder dyepot correctly. This is Shetland fleece dyed with home grown madder.

plant dyed silk in the garden

Silk dyed with fresh dyeplants. The blue was from Japanese indigo. The green was created by over-dyeing yellow-dyed silk in the indigo vat.

7 thoughts on “Textile gallery

  1. susan dye Post author

    Hi Michelle
    There are many names for Common Madder “Dyers Madder” is only one. Dyers Madder is certainly the best plant to grow for reds, orange’s, and pinks and even browns. There is so much written about Common Madder that we have turned our attention in the last couple of years to other related plants. However there are several articles on Rubia tinctorum here. Just scroll down to the catagories section. Best Regards Ashley

  2. michelle green

    love your site but I’m puzzled that you don’t seem to mention Dyer’s Madder (Rubis tinctoria). Have I missed something? This is the one I’ve always used in the past and had good results with both fresh and dried.

  3. susan dye Post author

    Hi Lynn
    We have not done much linen dyeing and what we have done has proved difficult as it does not take the colour as well as cotton. Though we have not tried it on linen yet we recommend using aluminium acetate as a mordant which works much better on plant fibers. Susan will be posting an article on mordanting here soon. To get a good blue with indigo you would need a very strong bath or many dips. Japanese indigo seeds are pretty much the same for all varieties though the Long leaf variety I grew this year does have larger seeds than the other varieties. I don’t know the details of other research but it certainly exists as many agro-chemical companies have done their own research in preparation for a public demand for more natural products – needless to say they keep the results of their research to themselves. I will follow up the John Marshall lead.
    Thanks Ashley

  4. Lynn

    Have you tried linen yet? Am curious how to start with some I have. Liked your checking the indigo varieties and wondered if the seeds were a little different as well. Isnt there a group of Japanese indigo growers comparing results for some special methods think saw on Jahn Marshalls site?

  5. Caitlin Rowe

    This is an incredible website! Thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge. I’m going to start growing lots of these exciting things next year. Your posts will be a huge help.
    You should write a book – I would buy it!

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