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Wild Color: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes [Paperback]

Jenny Dean
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

April 1 1999
Crafters who work with environmentally friendly materials will love this guide to growing and using plants to make dyes in a range of colors.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
I am new to natural dyeing and found this book to be extremely helpful. I looked at many dyeing books before purchasing this one. Unlike some other books this one gives tons of useful information without getting too technical or overwhelming. Because it is in full-color it also lets you see examples of the colors you can achieve. There are excellent step-by-step instructions accompanied by photos to guide you seamlessly through each process.
The book starts out with an introduction to the history of dyeing. It then discusses, choosing equipment and items to dye. Next, testing the water pH, preparing fibers and fixing colors is covered. Making and using mordants is also covered including timesaving tips on how to combine mordanting and dyeing. Conveniently, two charts help you choose the proper mordant and assist.
Preparing plants for dyeing follows. The processes for hot, cold and all-in-one dyeing are then demonstrated. A chart including all the dye plants shows you which methods will work best for each one. Special techniques for dyeing with indigo, woad and safflower are covered separately. There is also great advice on experimenting with color and a good explanation of how dyes are absorbed into different fibers.
Information on the over 60 dye plants follows. Each one has a picture of the plant, a written description of it and it's color along with information on cultivation, harvesting and the dyeing procedure. A set of color swatches showing color with and without modifiers or mordants is also included. Sometimes even a second set of swatches is shown for different parts of the plant.
If you are new to dyeing and want a through, yet easy-to-follow guide to natural dyeing this is definitely the book to get. It hard to imagine with all this information that even a more advance dyer wouldn't find a few helpful tips.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not the same old stuff Oct. 4 1999
Jenny Dean does a marvelous job in this book. At first glance, the photography is so clear and wonderful, that you think it is all "good looks" and couldn't possibly have any substance. But then she surprizes you with extensive yet step-by-step dyeing projects like "25 skeins from one dyestuff". The instructions are so thorough, you can't mess it up! The book is worth it for the directions on how to get three colours out of safflower alone! As a textile historian specializing in ancient Japanese textiles, the opportunity to try the same technique the Heian dyers used is such a thrill. Buy it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful, In a general way July 16 2003
By A Customer
This is a great book for beginners and old hands looking for a few new ideas to expand their color range. It has a large listing of plant materials and detailed instructions for different dye baths and it is one of the few books I have seen that treats both cellulose and protein dyes. My only dissapointment is in the color swatches, which are really just printed ink bloches on the sides of each page. Photographs would have been a much better inclusion.
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