Plant-dyed silk embroidery thread
6-strand silk embroidery thread, naturally dyed using plants foraged and grown in the Ballarat region. 10 metres per skein.
My plant-dyed embroidery thread takes its colour from plants grown and foraged around the Ballarat area, including both native species and introduced plants. Dye materials are gathered in season, and availability is subject to the turn of the planet and other environmental factors.
Each skein contains 10 metres of six-strand embroidery thread, similar to the well-known DMC cotton but in 100% silk. The silk has a gentle lustre, and also takes up natural dyes beautifully. You will need to wind the silk onto a bobbin or reel, or cut it into lengths and knot it through a card, to avoid getting tangled when you use it.
Colours are listed by their dye lot number and the plant dye and/or mordant used to obtain the colour. Once a dye lot is sold out, it cannot be exactly repeated, so please be sure to get enough for your project.
I’ve done my best to reproduce the colours accurately in daylight conditions. However, everyone’s monitor is a little different, so colours may vary slightly from what you see on-screen.
While I’ve made every effort to make my dyes as colourfast as possible, most natural dyes will fade in time. This is especially true of those in purplish shades, which are marked with an asterisk (*) in the shade list. However, with proper care, even the most fugitive dyes should last for years; if and when they fade, it will be to an attractive paler or near-neutral shade. This is part of the unique beauty of natural products.
Caring for your naturally dyed silk embroidery thread
To minimise colour loss, keep your plant-dyed items out of direct sunlight, and wash them carefully by hand with a pH neutral wool or delicates detergent such as Eucalan. Many other soaps and detergents are alkaline, which may shift the colour of the dye.
If you want to refresh the colour of a faded, plant-dyed item, you can over-dye it again with plant dyes or indeed with modern synthetic dyes. Some traces of mordants (minerals and other natural substances used to help dye stick to fibre) may remain, and may influence the new colour as well. Please feel free to contact me for more detail about each particular dye batch.
0003 Eucalyptus orange, 0003 Eucalyptus grey, 0004 Tea leaves light brown, 0004 Tea leaves ecru, 0011 Elderberry *, 0012 Fennel, 0016 Onion skin, 0017 Marigolds, 0027 Ivy berry blue, 0027 Ivy berry sea green, #0028 Avocado purple