Colonial Lake Books

Dyeing Books

A Dyer's Manual - $37.00
Jill Goodwin. An experimental dyer for over fifty years and well respected for her knowledge of dye plants and her work with woad, Jill published A Dyer's Manual in 1982. Following many requests a new edition has been produced, and her enthusiasm and interest can be shared with a new generation of dyers. Contents include: Preparation of Fibres, Mordants, Test Dyeing, Dyeing With Weeds, Dyes From the Garden, Ancient Dyes, Indigo, Lichen Dyes, Dyeing in Schools, Using Dyed Fibres, and an extensive chart of plants, and the colours they give with different mordants. 34 colour plates and many more illustrations.

Ashford Book of Dyeing - $33.00
Ann Milner. An outline of the basic principles, describing fabrics, relevant dyes (both natural and chemical) and techniques. For the more experienced dyer, she also provides detailed recipes for named dyes, instructions for advanced techniques, and a clear discussion of percentage dyeing. The author shows how to achieve novelty effects with hot exhaust dyeing and how to use such novel heat sources as the sun and the microwave oven. 192pp. Pb.

Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles - $65.00
India Flint. Dyeing with plants is a kind of botanical alchemy, a process that gives beautiful and sometimes surprising results. It is also a gentle and ecologically sustainable alternative to synthetic dyes, which are often harmful in themselves and in the processes used in their manufacture. The book encompasses only ecologically sustainable plant-dye methods using renewable resources, and attempts to take the path of doing the least possible harm to the dyer, the end user of the object, and the environment. Various techniques are discussed. Recipes include a number of entirely new processes developed by the author, as well as guidelines for plant collection, directions for distillation of non-toxic mordants and methodologies for applying plant dyes. The book is aimed at both the novice home dyer and textile or design professionals seeking to extend their skills. 238pp. Hb.

Harvesting Color - $63.00
Rebecca Burgess. Beautiful natural dyes from plants found in the wild or grown in your own backyard. As more and more crafters are discovering, dyeing your own fabric can yield gorgeous colors. Now master dyer Rebecca Burgess identifies 36 plants that will yield beautiful natural shades and shows how easy it is to make the dyes. Pokeweed creates a vibrant magenta, while a range of soft lavender shades is created from elderberries; indigo yields a bright blue, and coyote brush creates stunning sunny yellows. Harvesting Color explains where to find these plants in the wild (and for those that can be grown in your backyard, how to nurture them) and the best time and way to harvest them; maps show the range of each plant in the United States and Canada. For the dyeing itself, Burgess describes the simple equipment needed and provides a master dye recipe. The book is organized seasonally; as an added bonus, each section contains a knitting project using wools colored with dyes from plants harvested during that time of the year. With breathtaking color photographs by Paige Green throughout, Harvesting Color is an essential guide to this growing field, for crafters and DIYers; for ecologists and botanists; and for artists, textile designers, and art students. 208pp. Pb.

The History of Woad and the Medieval Woad Vat - $29.00
John Edmonds. A short history of the techniques used for indigo dyeing from woad before the introduction of synthetic dyes. John Edmonds is a retired engineer who has researched and recreated the textile dyes used in Europe from 500 BC to the 19th century. The ancient methods using woad and imperial purple have been of particular interest. In 2003 he was awarded the Open Prize for the Presentation of Heritage Research at the British Association's Festival of Science. 47pp. Pb.

Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World - $21.00
Catherine E McKinley. Now in Paperback! For almost five millennia, in every culture and in every major religion, indigo - a blue pigment obtained from the small green leaf of a parasitic shrub through a complex process - has been at the center of turbulent human encounters. Indigo is the story of this precious dye and its ancient heritage: its relationship to slavery as the "hidden half" of the transatlantic slave trade, its profound influence on fashion, and its spiritual significance, which is little recognized but no less alive today. It is an untold story, brimming with rich, electrifying tales of those who shaped the course of colonial history and a world economy. But Indigo is also the story of a personal quest: Catherine McKinley is the descendant of a clan of Scots who wore indigo tartan as their virile armor; the kin of several generations of Jewish "rag traders"; the maternal granddaughter of a Massachusetts textile factory owner; and the paternal granddaughter of African slaves - her ancestors were traded along the same Saharan routes as indigo, where a length of blue cotton could purchase human life. McKinley's journey in search of beauty and her own history ultimately leads her to a new and satisfying path, to finally "taste life." Indigo will be irresistible to read. 236pp. Pb.

Medieval Textile Dyeing - $43.00
John Edmonds. This book is an attempt to review and explain some of the techniques available to commercial textile dyers in Europe before 1600. Based on contemporary accounts and practical experimentation in recreating fabrics using the surviving techniques. 76pp. Pb.

Natural Plant Dyes - $20.00
Judith V Hallett. A Practical and simple guide to dyemaking with plants, which takes the reader step-by-step from plant collection to dyed yarn so easily that even novices will be inspired to try. Lists at the back of the book cover well over 100 Australian plants (and some commonly found introduced plants), each of which can potentially release five different colours with different mordants. The lists are organised under colour divisions, grouping plants which will provide a particular colour, under both botanical and common names. An excellent introductory book on dyeing. 64pp. Pb.

Vegetable Dyes: A Book of Recipes and Information - $18.00
Ethel M Mairet. "Short, to the point, chock full of practical 'how to' information and very affordable, to boot. Ethel M. Mairet's classic Vegetable Dyes: A Book of Recipes and Information Useful to the Dyer is far and away my all time favorite single-source natural dyeing handbook, a real must-have 'Dyer's Bible.'" Jessica Martin, Award-Winning Fiber Artist. 84pp. Pb.

The Essential Color Wheel Companion - $22.00
Joen Wolfrom (designer). Selecting perfect color combinations has never been easier! Joen Wolfrom has designed a durable, color-accurate, two-sided, multi-purpose 12" x 12" color wheel for use anywhere you go. One side features 24 pure colors with 4 color-plan wheels for each pure color. The other side shows a range of each pure color's tints, shades, and tones. Each color wedge is slotted so you can audition colors easily to ensure a perfect match. Everyone needs a colour wheel when playing with dyes and colours!