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Jessie At Home
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Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn – Adventures in Yarn Dyeing

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something from one of these links I will be compensated. Thank you.

Earthues Botanical Dyes are so fun! It’s art and science all wrapped up together. The colors are beautiful and the process is so cool.

Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Top Image

I had a blast learning how the different colors are made and how they all work. Plus, I felt like a chemist mixing to make new colors. You can just follow the directions, but I really enjoyed the education along with it.

This post was sponsored by WeCrochet. All opinions are my own.

Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Pin 1

This is our Fourth instalment of Adventures in Yarn Dying with Jessie At Home. There’s still one more this year, so the fun will continue!

You can find all the details about Adventures in Yarn Dying with Jessie At Home HERE. You’ll find dates and links to the other posts in this series. You’ll also find links for the various supplies you may need.

Supplies from WeCrochet

  • Swift and Yarn Winder – Sometimes you’ll need to wind your yarn, sometimes you’ll need to unwind it!
  • Bare Yarn – Well, this is obvious. 🙂
  • Dye – There are many options here. We’ll explore them through the year.
  • Book – This book is awesome!

Other useful supplies can be found in the intro post.

Getting Ready

The first thing I did this month was get organized for the rest of the year. I dumped all the yarn and dye for both the October and December post on my dining room table. Then I decided which yarns to use with which dyes.

I used some acrylic yarn that was not likely to dye to color code each hank of yarn with its label. Then I taped notes to each label as to how I wanted to dye each yarn.

It may look like a mess, but it’s actually pretty organized, and made my life so much easier! Now I was ready to get to dyeing with my Earthues Botanical Dye Kit.

Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Color Coded and Ready to Dye

Mordant?!

I read the info that came with the kit and learned about mordants. It turns out that for many botanical dyes, you need to pre-treat the yarn to get the colors you want. I also looked through the books I had and realized, yes, this was true. So, day one was all about mordanting my fibers. No worries, all the mordants come in the kit!

I’ve included the details on the mordant and the dyeing process for each yarn. Most of them had an alum mordant only. So I was able to do those in batches of 3 hanks at a time to save time. I only have 1 non-food dye pot, and you NEED to use a non-food pot for alum mordant.

It’s best to let them cool completely in the mordant, so I let the first batch cool in the dye pot until it was cool enough to pour into my plastic soaking bin. Than I dumped it all in there and let it cool the rest of the way while I started the next batch.

Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Yarn in the Mordant on the Induction Burner

New Tips

I discovered a few new tips this month. Mainly because there was a lot more time dyeing this month, and the temperatures were more important.

I will repeat that you MUST have separate dyeing supplies from food prep supplies. Just because the Earthues Botanical Dyes are botanical does not mean they are all food safe. Neither are all the mordants.

I had just bought an induction burner because my father picked up some iron tea pots in Japan for the kiddos and I. Induction burners are the best way to use those. As it turns out, the only pot or pan I have that isn’t iron and works with the induction burner is my dye pot. Kismet!!

The induction burner was very useful because it will hold at specific temperatures, and has a timer that will hold the temp and then turn off. Super handy!

The other useful tool I found was a candy thermometer. Sometimes I needed to hold at a temperature that my induction cooker didn’t have as an option, so the candy thermometer on the gas stove was the way to go. You’ll need a dye-only candy thermometer. That reminds me, I need to buy a new candy thermometer…

Earthues Botanical Dye – Time to Dye!

Some of the colors in the finished images are not great. At the end of the individual explanations is a picture of all the yarn on a drying rack outside. That picture is nearly perfect for color. The dyes are labeled beneath the picture.

Osage Orange and Woodland Tweed

The booklet that comes with the Earthues Botanical Dye Kit has details on how to dye with each powder, and also recipes for mixing other colors. I found the science fascinating. Osage Orange turns olive green when mixed with Iron, and I HAD to try that!

Woodland Tweed: (80% Merino Wool, 15% Baby Alpaca, 5% Vicose), Size 5 (8 wpi, aran/heavy worsted weight), 180 yds / 100 g (yds/g = 1.8)

Mordant
  • Dissolve 5.5 T Alum in boiling water.
  • Pour Alum liquid into warm water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 45 minutes.
  • Hold at 200° 1 hour.
  • Cool overnight, gently squeeze out excess water before dyeing.
Dye
  • Dissolve 1 T Osage Orange and 0.5 T Iron in boiling water.
  • Pour dye into 120° water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 1 hour.
  • Hold at 200° for 45 minutes.
  • Cool for 30 minutes then rinse and let dry.
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Candy Thermometer Comes in Handy
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Woodland Tweed Dyed with Osage Orange and Iron

Cutch and Woodland Tweed

Woodland Tweed: (80% Merino Wool, 15% Baby Alpaca, 5% Vicose), Size 5 (8 wpi, aran/heavy worsted weight), 180 yds / 100 g (yds/g = 1.8)

Mordant
  • Dissolve 5.5 T Alum in boiling water.
  • Pour Alum liquid into warm water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 45 minutes.
  • Hold at 200° 1 hour.
  • Cool overnight, gently squeeze out excess water before dyeing.
Dye
  • Dissolve 6 T Cutch in boiling water.
  • Pour dye into 120° water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 45 minutes.
  • Hold at 200° for 2 hours.
  • Cool for 30 minutes then rinse and let dry.
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Woodland Tweed Dyed with Cutch

Cochineal and Lindy Chain

Lindy Chain: (70% Linen, 30% Pima Cotton), Size 1 (15 wpi, fingering weight), 360 yds / 100 g (yds/g = 3.6)

Mordant
  • Dissolve 5.5 T Alum in boiling water.
  • Pour Alum liquid into warm water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 45 minutes.
  • Hold at 200° 1 hour.
  • Cool overnight, gently squeeze out excess water before dyeing.
Dye
  • Dissolve 1 T Cochineal in boiling water.
  • Pour dye into 120° water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 45 minutes.
  • Hold at 200° for 45 minutes.
  • Cool for 30 minutes then rinse and let dry.
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Lindy Chain Dyed with Cochineal

Logwood Purple and Gloss Fingering

Gloss Fingering: (70% Merino Wool, 30% Silk), Size 1 (13 wpi, Fingering weight), 440 yds / 100 g (yds/g = 4.4)

Mordant
  • Dissolve 5.5 T Alum in boiling water.
  • Pour Alum liquid into warm water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 45 minutes.
  • Hold at 200° 1 hour.
  • Cool overnight, gently squeeze out excess water before dyeing.
Dye
  • Dissolve 1 T Logwood Purple in boiling water.
  • Pour dye into 120° water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 45 minutes.
  • Hold at 200° for 45 minutes.
  • Cool for 30 minutes then rinse and let dry.
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Gloss Dyed with Logwood Purple

Madder and Gloss Fingering

The mordant for this one was a bit different with the addition of Calcium Carbonate. No worries though, it’s all explained in the instruction booklet that comes with the Earthues Botanical Dye Kit.

Gloss Fingering: (70% Merino Wool, 30% Silk), Size 1 (13 wpi, Fingering weight), 440 yds / 100 g (yds/g = 4.4)

Mordant
  • Dissolve 5.5 T Alum and 1.5 T Calcium Carbonate in boiling water.
  • Pour Alum and Calcium Carbonate liquid into warm water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 45 minutes.
  • Hold at 200° 1 hour.
  • Cool overnight, gently squeeze out excess water before dyeing.
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Yarn in the Alum and Calcium Carbonate Mordant
Dye
  • Dissolve 5 T Madder in boiling water.
  • Pour dye into 120° water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 160° over 30 minutes.
  • Hold at 1600° for 1 hour.
  • Cool for over night then rinse and let dry.

So you know how I promised you to include my mistakes? Well, when I added extra ties to this hank, I made them too tight. I wasn’t actually going for the tye-dye look. Ooops. It’ll be a design feature when I use it…

Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Gloss Dyed with Madder

Dandelion Heads and Muse

We had so much fun prepairing for this one. Over the summer we took a bag with us when we went on our after dinner walks. As we walked we collected dandelion heads. It was like a family scavenger hunt!

You can freeze dandelion heads to use later. So every evening when we got home from our walk we transferred our harvest into a zip-top bag I kept in the freezer.

Muse: (100% Superwash Merino), Size 4 (7 wpi, aran/heavy worsted weight), 114 yds / 100 g (yds/g = 1.14)

Mordant
  • Dissolve 5.5 T Alum in boiling water.
  • Pour Alum liquid into warm water in dye pot, mix.
  • Add yarn and raise heat to 200° over 45 minutes.
  • Hold at 200° 1 hour.
  • Cool overnight, gently squeeze out excess water before dyeing.
Dye
  • Add 3 cups Dandelion heads into 120° water in dye pot.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours.
  • Strain dye, then add back to dye pot.
  • Add yarn to warm dye and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature, then rinse and let dry.
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Muse Dyed with Dandelion

Turmeric and Curio 10

For both this and the Paprika, I kept the Curio wrapped as it came. I soaked the yarn in water with a small amount of vinegar before dyeing, as my research did not indicate a mordant was needed. I’m wondering if I should have tried one anyway.

You can find more about the water and vinegar pre-soak and dyeing curio as it came wrapped in my post about Indigo dyeing HERE.

Curio 10: (100% Cotton), Size #10 Crochet Thread (24 wpi, thread weight), 721 yds / 100 g (yds/g = 7.21)

Prep Dye
  • Mix 6 T Turmeric and 4 T vinegar into a paste in dye pot.
  • Add water and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Strain dye through fine sieve.
Dye
  • Pour dye into dye pot and raise heat to 120°.
  • Hold at 120° for 15 minutes.
  • Cool for 2 hours then rinse and let dry.
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - What an Impressive Golden Yellow

I let the yarn dry a few hours while still wrapped, then I used my swift to turn it into a hank to finish drying. There is more about this in the Indigo post as well.

Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Curio Dyed with Tumeric

Paprika and Marino Style and Curio

I dyed these both at the same time. The first finished picture is the Merino Style, and the second is the Curio 10. I think I’ll try this again using a mordant. The wool took better than cotton. The cotton became a slightly salmon-cream.

Merino Style: (100% Merino Wool), Size 3 (10 wpi, DK weight), 246 yds / 100 g (yds/g = 2.46)

Curio 10: (100% Cotton), Size #10 Crochet Thread (24 wpi, thread weight), 721 yds / 100 g (yds/g = 7.21)

Prep Dye
  • Mix .75 cup Paprika and .5 cup vinegar into a paste in dye pot.
  • Add water and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Simmer for 1 hour.
  • Strain dye through fine sieve.
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Paprika and Vinegar Paste
Dye
  • Pour dye into dye pot and raise heat to 120°.
  • Hold at 120° for 15 minutes.
  • Cool for 2 hours then rinse and let dry.
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Merino Style Dyed with Paprika
Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Curio Dyed with Paprika

Here we have our finished yarn!! I didn’t really dry them in the sun, it’s just a prettier picture then my kitchen. I would suggest the Earthues Botanical Dye Kit if you want to really get into natural dyeing. It’s a great way to learn and get started. You end up with plenty of dye, and you can make so many more colors then I’ve shown.

Earthues Botanical Dye for Dyeing Yarn by Jessie At Home - Yarn Drying

From left to right: Logwood Purple, Cochineal, Madder, Cutch, Osage Orange with Iron, Dandelion, Paprika, Paprika, Turmeric

Here are some supplies you may find useful.

Happy stitching my friends.

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Jessie at Home Signature

© Copyright 2020 Jessie Rayot / Jessie At Home All my videos, patterns, charts, photos and posts are my own work, so you may not copy them in any way. If you want to share this information with someone, then share the link to this post. If you want to share on your own blog / website, then you may use the first photo in this post and link back to this post. Also, you may not give away printed copies of this post.

Now that you know how to use Earthues Botanical Dyes, try one of these.

Dyeing Yarn with Jessie At Home - Protein Yarn and Acid Dye - Pin 1
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