Woad in winter

2016-07-18 11.33.25

I realised a little late that I should have picked my woad earlier. But decided I had nothing to lose by picking it now.

2016-07-18 11.41.33

Then the chopping…

2016-07-18 13.42.25

Then the vat. How blue should the froth be, to be blue enough? These are the questions that plague my blue-dyeing!

2016-07-18 14.35.48

Eventually, I had a vat. The wool came out the same colour it was when it went in. The second vat had a lot more leaf to the same volume of water.

2016-07-18 16.52.14

I ended up with some blue-pale blue-bluish wool.

2016-07-23 14.46.19

And some silk thread that is more of a silver grey.  I swear it was blue after the second vat, but either subsequent re-dips stripped the colour back out, or it was fugitive.  Or I dreamed it. Well, they do say that woad doesn’t bear much indigotin, and harvesting in winter is not ideal.  But, am I allowed to be a bit disappointed anyway?

2016-07-23 14.46.40


Filed under Natural dyeing

12 responses to “Woad in winter

  1. I see that Jenny Dean comments that leaves picked after October (translating that as autumn for us) don’t yield much colour. Still very disappointing. 😢


  2. Pia

    I’ve had the same experience. And the 2nd year plants are also no good.


  3. mmmm glad my chickens like to eat it and i do look forward to the flowers but I too have had no blue 😦


  4. norma

    My hens eat it too. I was not sure when to harvest mine but guess I’d better do it in the next few weeks or I’ll miss the October deadline. It seems a bit scarey, but I am trying to find out as much as possiblr first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also find the blue dyeing a bit intimidating and that is one reason I put woad harvest off. So don’t follow my example! Be bold and give it a go. I do think the simpler method I used worked pretty well so you might like to search the blog and follow the link to that one–much simpler and less toxic than a thio vat, for example. But maybe you’re going with the traditional vats…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan

    Yes, disappointing……..woof


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