My interest in botanical dyeing has grown over the past six months + I have recently begun experimenting with various plant derived dyes.
My favourite dye to date has to be avocado stones which make beautiful pinks + peach colours. Avocado dye is known for high levels of tannins meaning it is colourfast when washed making it perfect for clothing. It does require slightly more care than chemically dyed clothing however I think it is worth this extra effort. Using natural dyes over chemical ones has many advantages with the main one being it's kinder to both the wearer's skin + the environment.
As with chemically dyed clothing, the colour will fade a little over time however there are some simple steps that will ensure the colour is kept at its best for longer. (It is worth noting that I pre soak fabric in soy milk before dyeing which helps the dye particles stick to the fabric fibres):
-Wash on a cool temperature with similar colours
-Use a natural laundry detergent without optical brighteners or bleaching agents
-Do not use chemical stain removers/soaps/detergents directly into fabric particularly those containing acid (such as citric acid). My daughters recently spilt orange juice, strawberry ice lolly juice + butter all over their hand dyed clothes but the clothes came out totally clean without a mark (and still pink!) when washed. I use Ecover or Bio D (both non bio) for all our clothes.
-Avoid storing dyed clothes in direct sunlight
I am hoping to grow my botanically dyed collection over time once I have tried + tested other natural dyes. It is important to me that my hand dyed clothes are as colourfast as possible which requires lots of testing + washing! I have gained a wealth of knowledge from reading about botanical dyeing + following several lovely accounts on instagram but I know there is much more to learn which only comes through practising + experimenting.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. If you have any further questions about the care of your clothes or botanical dyeing, please feel free to contact us at Wonder of Kin and we will pass along your question or comment to Elli at The Old Rectory Clothing Company.
Don't forget to check out the beautiful range of clothing available from The Old Rectory Clothing Co. here.