Tag Archives: how to dye with Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye

I gathered some Eucalyptus leaves during a recent visit to Corfu. Eucalyptus makes a wonderful dye, both from the leaves and the bark.
I dyed both wool and some cellulose fabrics (linen and cotton)

To make the dye, I used 50 grams of Eucalyptus leaves and put them into a dye pot filled with water.
I simmered the dyepot for +1 hour at 50 degrees Celsius.
I then added the mordanted wool and fabric samples to the dyepot.
I simmered the dyepot for +1 hour.
Then I turned off the heat and let the dyepot cool and left it overnight. I find that I get stronger colours when leaving the yarn to soak longer.

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye
Eucalyptus Leaf Dye

All cellulose fibres, yarns and fabrics must be scoured prior to mordanting or dyeing. Please see my previous article on how to do this.
How to Scour Linen

For these samples, I used several different linen and cotton fabrics as well as wool yarn.

Linen and Cotton Fabric Samples
Linen and Cotton Fabric Samples

Unbleached Cotton
Bleached Linen
Linen/Cotton Blend
Natural Linen (light weight)
Natural Linen (heavy weight)

Please look for my naturally dyed yarns in my Paivatar Yarn Shop on Etsy.

More about Naturally Dyed YarnsApple Leaf Dye
Madder Root Dye
Alkanet Root Dye
Brazilwood Dye
Himalayan Rhubarb Plant Dye

Indigo from Seed to Dye

Indigo: Dye It, Make It: Techniques from plain and dip-dyeing to tie-dyeing and batik, in natural indigo blue

Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

Natural Dyes

The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use

Dyes and Mordants on Ebay

Alum - Potassium Aluminum Sulfate - Mordant - Potash Alum - 4 oz

$5.25
End Date: Friday Dec-13-2019 21:06:54 PST
Buy It Now for only: $5.25
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Alum Marbling Dyeing Mordant 450g 1lb Potash Marbled Paper Fabric Supplies

$9.90
End Date: Sunday Jan-12-2020 5:06:30 PST
Buy It Now for only: $9.90
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Alum - Potassium Aluminum Sulfate - Mordant - Potash Alum - 120g

$6.49
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 17:03:17 PST
Buy It Now for only: $6.49
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Eucalyptus Dyed Scarf

Having read India Flint’s wonderful book on eco colour and printing, I discovered that you can get some beautiful natural dyes using Eucalyptus leaves. So during a recent holiday in Corfu, I gathered a bag full of Eucalyptus leaves from the trees that were growing along the roadsides and thought I would give it a try.
The leaves had dried out by the time I started this project. So I sprayed them with a bit of water to moisten them. Then I layed the leaves out onto one side of a silk scarf that I had dampened with water.

Eucalyptus Dye on Silk
Eucalyptus Dye on Silk

When I had spread out all the Eucalyptus leaves, I turned the scarf over to cover the leaves.

Eucalyptus Dye on Silk
Eucalyptus Dye on Silk

I then rolled the scarf around a cardboard tube.

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye on Silk
Eucalyptus Leaf Dye on Silk

I tightly wrapped the dye package with linen yarn so that all of the bundle was covered.

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye
Eucalyptus Leaf Dye

I then placed the silk scarf dye package into a dyepot and let it simmer for a few hours – no mordant was used. Then I turned the heat off and put a lid onto the pot.
It can take several days for all of the colour to disperse from the Eucalyptus leaves and to imprint onto the silk fabric.
I let this dyepot sit untouched for about 3 weeks. The dypeot will get a bit smelly as the dye ferments, so it is best to leave it outside while the dye matures.

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye
Eucalyptus Leaf Dye

The Eucalyptus dye project looks very hopeful as I begin to unwrap the scarf. The linen yarn that I wrapped the dye package with has a nice colour.

Eucalyptus Dye on Silk
Eucalyptus Dye on Silk
Eucalyptus Dyed Silk Scarf
Eucalyptus Dyed Silk Scarf

It worked! I am quite happy with the result 🙂

Eucalyptus Leaf Dyed Silk Scarf
Eucalyptus Leaf Dyed Silk Scarf

There is still quite a bit of dye colour in the dyebath, so I think I will try to reuse the dyebath and dye something else.

Eucalyptus Dyed Scarf
Eucalyptus Dyed Scarf
Eucalyptus Dyed Scarf on Etsy

Natural Dye Books
Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles

The Wild Dyer: A Maker’s Guide to Natural Dyes with Projects to Create and Stitch (learn how to forage for plants, prepare textiles for dyeing, and … from coasters to a patchwork blanket)

The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Home

The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use

A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers

A Heritage of Colour: Natural Dyes Past and Present

Natural Dyes: Sources, Traditions, Technology & Science