Colours of woad


Now that everything is clean and dry, I thought I might show some outcome pictures.  First there was a linen gauze scarf.  I am hoping it might offer some portable sun protection for my neck over summer. Later there was some clamp action.


These are handkerchiefs I made some time back from a buttery yellow sheet that passed beyond being able to be used on a bed.  I simply did not prepare for woad success and expected far less colour.  Then I remembered that I had intended to stitch and ye them with indigo…


I do like the way they turned out!  I am still figuring out whether multiple dips actually does give me deeper colour.  If I am at the start of something and not having a – success experience with woad, I will experiment so I can make comparisons.  So far I have not been convinced that multiple dips gives deeper colour.  I am not sure whether my perception is incorrect, I have skipped a vital step, or I have prepared some of my vats in a way that means colour gets stripped out and re-deposited, which is how it seems to me.  It will be simple enough to run a test and figure out whether it’s my own eye and mind.  My technique will surely improve if I keep going.


And finally, as the Ph of the vats dropped into the zone more suitable for wool and there was still colour, in went grey merino locks.  LOTS of woad dyed wool! So there is woad spinning yet to come.  Happiness!





Filed under Natural dyeing

9 responses to “Colours of woad

  1. norma

    The handkerchiefs have come out beautifully. I love the patterns.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Things look great so far. I’m sure you’ll crack the question of how to get deeper colors soon too. Can’t wait to see more samples.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know that indigo with some natural dyes actually does remove colour. I haven’t tried woad so I have no idea about colour deepening, like it does with indigo. Currently feeling woad wool envy😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the envy is only fair! I have heard about indigo vats stripping out other dyes too. This should be, essentially, the same situation. I think the likely cause is the alkalinity of the woad/indigo vat, and potentially the reducing agent (they come in many forms). I have two fructose woad vats in the carport as I write. Fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I was just contemplating a fructose indigo vat – having a return to dyeing. Collecting leaves from the local park yesterday I came across a Pink Hyacinth orchid! All growing by it’s ownsome, undeath a E. cinerea (which is why I found it), thankfully right inside the drip line and in the mulched area under the tree. I think it’s safe from the council mower.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Marg

    I think overdyed grey wool is my absolute color of choice. And you have inspired me to buy some dye plants next spring and get on with it I’m keen to start now of course, but doubt that madder roots or Japanese indigo will survive the boggy wet soul here in winter. But I’m sure I can get a crop of woad in and out withno dramas.

    Liked by 1 person

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