A Garden to Dye For

A Garden to Dye For : How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics & Fibers

4.15 (107 ratings by Goodreads)
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Home-grown botanical dyes are in, and they're part of today's shift toward natural and organic living. "A new generation discovers grow-it-yourself dyes," says the New York Times. And you don't have to have a degree in chemistry to create your own natural dyes.

It just takes a garden plot and a kitchen. A Garden to Dye For shows how super-simple it is to plant and grow a dyer's garden and create beautiful dyes. Many of these plants may already be in our cutting, cottage or food gardens, ready for double duty. These special plants can fit right in with traditional garden themes. A Garden to Dye For features 40-plus plants that the gardener-crafter can grow for an all-natural, customized color palette. A dyer's garden can be a mosaic of flowers, herbs, roots and fruits that lend us their pigments to beautify other areas of our lives. The richly photographed book is divided between the garden and the dye process, with garden layouts, plant profiles, dye extraction and uses, step-by-step recipes and original, engaging DIY projects. This is the book that bridges the topic of plant dyes to mainstream gardeners, the folks who enjoy growing the plants as much as using them in craft projects.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 177 x 177 x 13mm | 413g
  • Pittsburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Halftones, color
  • 0985562285
  • 9780985562281
  • 70,383

Review quote

If you love the outdoors and creating, we found your new favorite book: A Garden to Dye For: How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics and Fibers by Chris McLaughlin!

Of course, one can argue that natural plant-based dyes are as traditional as it gets. But in the modern world, ready-made synthetic dyes have become the norm. It's so easy to step into a craft store and find a rainbow of powdered and liquid dyes. However, if you're a crafty person who appreciates nature, this title is for you.

Even if you don't have a green thumb, her book provides enough guidance and encouragement to get you going. And if you do? It's an amazing, informative encyclopedia that's sure to become a staple in your garden. -- Kirsten Nunez If you are a keen gardener and a nervous would-be-dyer, interested in safe natural dyeing project to do with children, then this fun and attractive book will help you select a few plants, get necessary equipment together, mordant if necessary, and start dyeing using cold water, hot water or solar dyeing methods. This is an inspiring, and distinctive book. Every homesteader, homeschooler, crafter, gardener, educator, and fibre artist owes it to themselves to grab this book and a cup of chai and breathe deeply of the inspiration, joy, and stimulation that exudes from every page. The book is aesthetically beautiful as if each page was dipped in a dye vat and then salted to spray the colour, like elderberry blossoms, across the page -- joybileefarm
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About Chris McLaughlin

Chris McLaughlin is a California garden writer and author who has been gardening for over 35 years and became a Master Gardener in 2000. She is the home agriculture editor for From Scratch magazine, a staff columnist at Vegetable Gardener.com, and the Homesteading Guide at About.com. Chris' work can also be found in Urban Farm, Hobby Farm Home, The Heirloom Gardener, The Herb Companion, and Fine Gardening magazines.

She is the author of "Vertical Vegetable Gardening", "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Small-Space Gardening", "Hobby Farms: Small-Scale Rabbit Keeping", "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Heirloom Vegetables", and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting"; and her latest: "A Garden to Dye For".

Chris and her family live in the foothills of Northern California's gold country, where they share their hobby farm with more critters than she'll admit to; including a handful of fiber animals and a rather large assortment of natural dye plants. When she's not writing, gardening, dyeing, hand-spinning, feeding critters, or chasing grandbabies, she's touching base at her community project, The Mother Lode Seed Library in Placerville, California. You can catch her blogging about modern homesteading and crafts at www.home-ag.com.
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Rating details

107 ratings
4.15 out of 5 stars
5 38% (41)
4 42% (45)
3 16% (17)
2 4% (4)
1 0% (0)

Our customer reviews

This book is a true disappointment if you are the least knowledgeable of dyeing with plants. The pretty cover picture gives the impression that the author knows about a lot of dyes, but the book clearly gives another picture. 1) It's obvious that this book is a desktop product. The author has only dyed with the most obvious and high success rate plants. 2) There is not a single how-to description in the whole book. The author seems not to know much about either mordanting, adjusting pH or anything other way of enhance the result. 3) The author has not even tested the few dyes she has made. Nowhere in the book one can find anything about how light resistant the dyes are. Don't buy this unless you are happy with a bunch a pretty flower pictures and non-informative text.show more
by AlbrektA
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