A Heritage of Colour

A Heritage of Colour : Natural Dyes Past and Present

4.05 (17 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$24.95

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


A Heritage of Colour explores the techniques that can be used to create a wealth of colours from 50 plants, including many that have been in constant use as dyes for over 2000 years. Inspired by the colours on textile fragments from the Iron Age and by the achievements of early dyers, the author describes some of the dyes and methods of the past and considers how they can be adapted for use by today's dyers. The book covers all the basics of natural dyeing and explains in detail how to experiment with local plants, wherever you may live, to produce a wide range of beautiful, rich colours on textile fibres. A Heritage of Colour also includes sections on dyeing with fungi, contact printing on cloth and dyeing multi-coloured fibres and fabrics. The emphasis throughout is on environmentally-friendly methods and on the thrill of personal discovery through practical experience.

Follow Jenny's blog on http://www.jennydean.co.uk/
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 148 x 208 x 14mm | 339.99g
  • Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 255 colour
  • 1782210369
  • 9781782210368
  • 147,418

Table of contents


Inspiration from the Past

Environmental Considerations

The Basics


Selecting and Preparing Fibres for Dyeing

Selecting, Harvesting and Preparing Dyes


Extracting Dye Colour

Application of Dyes

Colour Modifiers

Testing for Fastness

Other Techniques

Contact Dyeing on Fabric Using Plant Materials

Dyeing with Frozen Flowers

Over-Dyeing and Multi-coloured Skeins and Fabrics

The Dye Plants

Using Lichens for Dyeing

Using Fungi for Dyeing

A Brief Outline of Natural Dyes in Europe from the Iron Age to c1650

Health and Safety Information




show more

Review quote

Mar 14

This small, almost pocket-sized book is packed with information on using 50 plants to create fabulous dyed yarn or fabrics. Many of these plants have been used for over 2000 years. Jenny looks at ancient dyeing techniques and how to adapt them. You'll find all the basics of dyeing included and ideas for experimenting too. Discover how to achieve a range of beautiful natural colours. As a dyer myself, I found this book fascinating. There is an alphabetical list of plants, its uses for dyeing plus a photo of the variations in colour that can be achieved. There is a great section on woad and on madder too and even on using fungi for dyeing. There is nothing on Indigofera because this book concentrates on plants that can be grown locally. This is a very useful book for anyone interested in natural dyeing. * Karen Platt Yarnsandfabrics.co.uk/crafts * Feb 14

I was so excited about this book and it didn't let me down! Jenny uses her vast amount of knowledge to show you what can be achieved using dyes harvested locally or grown in the garden. She also uses minimal manufactured chemicals so you can have a more natural dye. Jenny talks you through her journey getting to know all about natural dyes and dying methods to how to gather & dry dyestuffs. She talks you through everything from extracting the colour to use to dye with, different dying methods and techniques. She also talks you through fabrics and different yarns. She even helps you with information of how to grow different plants in your own garden. I am going to my first Spinning course later on this month and this book will be helping me on my way to creating my own yarn. I can't even describe how much information there is in this book. It's in a really handy handheld size that will be perfect for using "in the field". If you are interested in dying and want to look at more natural methods then this is a fantastic book! * Crochet Addict UK *
show more

About Jenny Dean

Jenny Dean, linguist, lecturer and experimental dyer, is passionate about natural dyeing: she not only researches ethnic dyeing techniques and lectures on the subject but also has her own business supplying natural dyes and running workshops on natrual dyeing.

As a hobby she also grows her own dyeplants in her Bedfordshire cottage garden, and her home, not surprisingly, is a riot of colourful textiles from all over the world.
show more

Rating details

17 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 41% (7)
4 35% (6)
3 18% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 6% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X