How to Dye Wool With Geraniums
Dye wool fabric or yarn with geranium flower petals to produce a natural, chemical-free dyed color from plants in your backyard. Geranium flowers produce a blue-gray to brown-colored dye depending on the petal color and plant variety. Experiment with the flowers and make notes on the colors produced for future dying reference. Dye additional wool in a lighter shade by reusing the dye water after removing the first batch of wool.
Prepare the wool by soaking it for one hour in a fixative solution made from four parts cold water and one part vinegar.
Select geranium flower heads that are in full bloom and free of pesticides. Remove the petals from the flower head and rinse with cold water to remove debris. Let the petals drip dry in a colander to remove excess moisture.
- Dye wool fabric or yarn with geranium flower petals to produce a natural, chemical-free dyed color from plants in your backyard.
- Experiment with the flowers and make notes on the colors produced for future dying reference.
Place the petals in a clean bowl and crush them with a large wooden spoon or chop with a clean scissors to release the pigments.
Place the petals in a clean stainless steel pot and two cups of water for each one cup of petals. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the petals stew for approximately one hour.
Remove the petals from the water by pouring the mixture through cheesecloth or a fine weave strainer. Pour the dyed water back into the pot and add six cups water.
Remove the wool from the fixative solution and rinse well. Place the wool into the dye pot making sure the pot remains at a consistent simmer. Stir the wool periodically during the dying process
- Place the petals in a clean bowl and crush them with a large wooden spoon or chop with a clean scissors to release the pigments.
- Remove the wool from the fixative solution and rinse well.
Soak the wool in the dye for at least one hour or until it reaches a shade slightly darker than that desired. Turn off the heat and let the wool cool in the dye solution.
Remove the wool from the dye pot and rinse in cool water until the water runs clear with no dye residue present. Gently wring out the wool and let it dry on a flat surface.
- Natural Dyes and Home Dyeing; Rita J. Adrosko; June 1971
- Pioneer Thinking: Natural Dyes from Plants
- Creativity Portal: How to Dye with Onion Skins
Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.