Monday, March 22, 2010

Book Review: The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing

Be sure to check back each day this week for a craft book review!

Title: The Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing: Techniques and Recipes for Dyeing Fabrics, Yarns, and Fibers at Home
Authors: Eva Lambert & Tracy Kendall
Publisher: Interweave Press
Release Date: February 15, 2010
ISBN:  978-1-59668-181-1
Retail Price: $24.95

Not only is this book THE quintessential book on dyeing fabrics and yarns at home, but it is a stunning,  beautifully photographed book with amazing photo representations of each technique.  I was impressed with the care that was taken to describe the terminology and background of all of the fibers and dyes used.  I truly learned quite a bit from this book.  And now that I have it, I cannot imagine NOT having it in my resource library.  This book is sure to delight your senses and take you from KoolAid dyeing to creating your own gorgeous NATURAL recipes for beautiful yarn and/or fabrics.

This book includes chapters on:
  1.  Understanding the Basics: This chapter really delves into which tools and equipment you'll need as well as how to prepare your yarn and/or fabric to best take the dye.  Again, TERRIFIC pictures here to visually describe the materials you'll need.  My favorite part of this chapter was when they described the properties of protein fibers.  Of course, they also explain how to prep, skein, choosing fabrics to dye, as well understanding color, the colorwheel, and patterns.
  2. Collecting Your Own Dyestuffs: In this chapter, I learned that I could walk into my backyard or nearby field and collect any number of flowers, weeds, leaves, barks, roots, and berries to produce beautiful and interesting natural colors.  This chapter not only describes which plants to collect, but when they can be collected and how to store them.
  3. Dyeing Techniques: This chapter describes the various mordants that can be used for fabrics and yarns.  It describes vat dyeing, top dyeing, tie-dyeing, patterning with ikat, random dyeing, and expanded dyeing for yarns.  It also contains info on the basics of fabric dyeing, multicolor dyeing for fabrics, tie-dyeing textiles, resist dyeing fabrics with indigo, and Batik dyeing.
  4. Recipes: This chapter is FANTASTIC!  In this chapter, you'll learn about what recipes to use to make every color of the rainbow and every color in between.  This chapter gives stunning pictures of each color result and the recipe of exactly how to achieve that result.  This is the meat and potatoes of this book!  
This book also contains information on how to safely dye your yarn and fabrics as well as a pattern motif directory, and pictorial yarn & fabric color recipe selector.

Don't walk... RUN to your nearest book retailer and get this book.  I can't emphasize how detailed and thorough this book is.  This book provides THE BEST dyeing information I've come across.  It's easy to understand and beautifully written and photographed.  As soon as the winter frost is over, I plan on scouring my neighborhood for some natural materials so I can get my dye on!

If you buy this book and start dyeing - PLEASE email me your pics!  I'd LOVE to see what you've dyed!!

The author KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for this blog post, but was given a complimentary book for review by Interweave Press.  KnitPurlGurl Disclosure Policy applies.


1 comment:

  1. I will probably go check this book out of the library before I purchase (my budget is kind of tight) But I have been dying (haha excuse the pun) to start dying my own yarn. I have a small collection of plain wool skiens of yarn lying around and I almost picked one up to knit last night and thought "no i am gonna dye this one first." So thanks for the book review!


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