Dyeing with fresh woad leaves + salt

All through last summer I saw people dyeing with fresh indigo and salt, simply rubbing the leaves and salt together creating a mushy liquid paste and then rubbing this into fibre.

I spotted on instagram @plants_and_colour had tried this with woad. After my unsuccesfull indigo growing attempt this year, I planted plenty of woad to experiment with and what better time to try than a day before heading on holiday.

1st year woad plant in July

I picked a handful of leaves, sprinkled two tablespoons of salt on top and started rubbing. The leaves turned mushy very fast and I added in a sample of silk, wool fabric and a small skein on wool yarn and just kept rubbing.

Its a fascinating process. The woad leaves disappeared and the fibres turned green pretty fast. I think I should’ve used a finer salt and more woad, tips I’ll bear in mind for next time.

Silk, wool and a skein of wool yarn

As the fibres dried, the colour lightened to a mint green. It’s a shame I am heading home tomorrow, otherwise I’d be experimenting again immediatly!


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