Lecture for Master Gardeners – Roots, Wood, Bugs and Berries

17 May

Sample plants from my garden & acreage for this afternoon’s lecture 



Master Gardener Association

Marble Falls Church of Christ 

3:00 on the 3rd Tuesday: May 17th 

Natural dyestuffs fall mainly into the following broad categories: Leaves and stems, twigs and tree prunings, flower heads, barks, roots, insect dyes, outer skins , hulls and husks, heartwoods and wood-shaving, berries and seeds and lichens. This is one of the breakdowns provided by Jenny Dean, a noted colorist in Craft of Natural Dyeing.
I will talk about how we get those colors to “bite” with mordants. We’ll consider how you use different “assists” to push the colors different directions such as vinegar, iron and even the impact the type of water used, rainwater versus well water, has on your colors. We’ll look back in time at what was used historically and talk about safety today. I’ll have some examples of the colors produced by cactus tuna, cochineal and Texas ball moss plus more. I won’t make a natural dye expert of you in one day but you will start looking at your garden plants in a new light. What color will your valley provide?

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