Dyeing with Carrot tops

I am huge fan of starting your plant dyeing journey with food waste. Easily accessible and using something that would otherwise be discarded is exactly what I like! They may not be the most colour or light fast dyes so you need to choose carefully what to use (try to steer away from actual food items and use those for dinner instead!) Recently I’ve been getting my carrots with their tops still on from the farmers market and been saving those for the dye pot. I hadn’t used them for dyeing beforehand, mainly as I rarely get my carrots with tops still attached

Heritage carrots from market

I simmered the tops for an hour, left them to cool and then added my pre mordanted fibres. I dyed some Finnish wool and pure silks mordanted with alum as well as a piece of cotton mordanted with aluminium acetate. I kept these in 80 degrees for an hour and left them to cool overnight.

Gorgeous shades of green in the dyepot

It’s always a joy to get green colours in the dye pot as they are a rarety in natural dyeing. I don’t know about the light/colour fastness, but I am intending to find out. Today I asked for some of the discarded tops from the veg man to take home so I could play with making lake pigments. I would love to get some greens in my collection.

Left to right: cotton, silk thread and habotai and Finnsheep wool dyed with carrot tops


3 thoughts on “Dyeing with Carrot tops

  1. Thank you Emma, these are just the plant materials I have available and am wanting to experiment with.
    Thanks for sharing your recipes & experiences.


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