Digital Dye Book

This is a digital representation of my physical dye book. I began experimenting in different types of dyeing in 2018 and wanted to share my results with folks looking for a place to get started. I am not a professional dyer and have no formal training in the chemical processes involved.

If you would like to tip for the time and materials used in these experiments and documentation, feel free to go on over to my Ko-Fi. Any contributions are appreciated.

Alt text for screen readers is being updated for all photos on this page.


** This dye book is being updated from my physical dye book and will be updated regularly over the next few weeks to bring it to the present day**



An index card on a white table. The information transcribed to the website page for the Apple Twigs is hand written in blue ink. There are two samples of yarn and two samples of fabric stapled to the index card. The yarns are a reddish brown and the fabrics are a light orangey tan,

BFL Yarn – BFL Tweed Yarn – Cotton Fabric – Linen Fabric

Natural Dye – Apple Twigs

  • Apple tree twigs (filled one spaghetti sauce jar with small pieces)
  • 123.2 g fiber samples
  • 9. g alum (8%)
  • Soak twigs in water for 24 hours
  • Simmer twigs 1 hour + 45 minutes
  • Dissolve alum and add wet fibers
  • Simmer fiber 1 hour + 15 minutes
  • Let soak overnight
  • Rinse and wash with Soak

Smelled like cider!


Natural Dye – Yellow Onion Skins + Avocado pits

  • 3rd bath yellow onion dye
  • 7 avocado pits
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 107.1 g fiber sample
  • 8.56 g alum (8%)
  • Simmer dye stock 1 hour + 30 minutes
  • Dissolve alum and add wet fiber
  • Simer fiber for 1 hour + 15 minutes
  • Let soak overnight
  • Rinse and wash with Soak
Index card on a white table. The information transcribed on the website page is hand written in blue ink. There is a sample of sugar can fiber stapled to the index card. It is a light pinkish yellow.

Sugar Cane Fiber Yarn


BFL Tweed Yarn – Cotton Yarn – Cotton Fabric – Linen Fabric

(Cotton yarn and BFL tweed previously dyed with birchbark and iron)

Natural Dye – Red Onion + Clementine Peel

  • 3rd bath red onion dye stock (see Red Onion entry below)
  • 115.18 g clementine peels
  • 105.8 g fiber samples
  • 8.4 g alum (8%)
  • Simmer peels for 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Dissolve alum and add fiber
  • Simmer fiber for 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Let soak overnight
  • Rinse and wash in Soak

Natural Dye – Yellow Onion Skins

  • 58.6 g yellow onion skins
  • 143.3 g fiber samples
  • 11.4 alum (8%)
  • Simmer onion skins 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Dissolve alum (all in on) and add the wet fiber samples
  • Simmer 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Let Soak overnight
  • Rinse and wash with Soak

2nd bath with:

  • 103.7 g aloe fiber sample
  • 59.1 g mohair fiber sample
  • 13 g alum (8%)

Same steps.

BFL Yarn – BFL Tweed Yarn – Cotton Yarn – Cotton Fabric – Linen Fabric

Mohair Yarn – Aloe Yarn


BFL Tweed – Cotton Yarn – Cotton Fabric – Linen Fabric

Natural – Red Onion Skins

  • 14.5 g red onion skins
  • 119.3 g fiber samples
  • 9.5 g alum (8%)
  • Simmer onion skins 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Dissolve alum (all in one) and add the wet fiber samples
  • Simmer 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Let soak overnight
  • Rinse and water with Soak

2nd bath with:

  • 85.3 g handspun
  • 6. alum (8%)

Same steps.


Natural Dye – Dandelion Petals 1

  • 20.3g dandelion flower petals
  • 100.0 g fiber samples
  • 9.0 g alum
  • Simmer dandelions for 1 hour
  • Added + dissolved alum directly to dye pot
  • Add wet fiber samples
  • Dye simmer for 1 hour
  • Let soak overnight
  • Rinse with Soak and line dry

Cotton – BFL – Cotton – Linen

Natural Dye – Dandelion Flowers

  • 49.17 g whole flowers
  • 119.3 g fiber samples
  • 9.5 g alum
  • Simmer flowers for 1 hour
  • Add alum to dye pot
  • Add wet fibers and simmer for 1 hour
  • Turn off heat and soak overnight
  • Rinse with Soak and line dry

Cotton Yarn – BFL Yarn – Cotton Fabric – Linen Fabric

Natural Dye – Dandelion (combo)

  • Dye stock from petals + flowers/leaves
  • 50.68 g fiber samples
  • 18.58 g previously iron + birch dyed fiber sample
  • 4.1 g alum
  • Reheat dye stock 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Dissolve in alum
  • Add wet fiber samples
  • Simmer 1 hour
  • Soak overnight
  • Rinse with Soak and line dry

BFL Yarn – BFL Yarn with iron + birch

Natural Dye – Dandelion Petals 2

  • Dye stock from Dandelion Petals 1
  • 1 tsp iron water
  • 42.75 g fiber samples
  • .22 g alum
  • Reheat petal dye stock (1 hour to temp while prepping)
  • Stir in alum and iron water
  • Dye fibers at simmer 1 hour
  • Let sit overnight
  • Rinse with Soak and line dry

Cotton – BFL Tweed

Natural Dye – Dandelions – Flowers and Leaves

  • Flowers from previous flower dye
  • 50 g leaves
  • 116.1g fiber samles
  • 9.3 g alum
  • Reheat flower dye and add leaves
  • Simmer for 1 hour
  • Add alum and dissolve
  • Add wet fiber samples
  • Dye simmer 1 hour
  • Turn off heat and let sit overnihgt
  • Rinse with Soak and line dry

Cotton Yarn – BFL Tweed Yarn – Cotton Fabric – Linen Fabric


Natural Dye – Black Beans

2/11/19 – cold soak beans (1 bag from Stop N Shop)

2/12/19 –

  • 8% alum mordant samples
  • 1 hour simmer per sample bath
  • Add samples to bean vat to cold soak overnight

2/14/19 –

  • 8% alum mordant smaples
  • 1 hour simmer per sample bath
  • Add samples to same bean vat to cold soak overnight

Cotton Yarn – BFL Yarn – BFL Tweed Yarn – Linen Fabric

Cotton Yarn – Linen Fabric


An index card on a white table. There is information for the first and second avocado pit dye baths written in black ink that is detailed on this web page. 

Beneath the first dye bath are 3 yarn samples and 2 fabric samples. The BFL yarn samples are a pinkish tan color. The cotton yarn is a very light pink. The muslin fabric sample is just off white pink. The linen fabric sample is a light pinkish tan color.

There are 3 yarn samples and 1 fabric sample stapled beneath the second dye bath information. The fabric sample is a light greyish pink. The cotton yarn is a similar color with less of a grey tone. The two BFL yarns are a grey mauve.

Natural Dye – Avocado Pits

(Note: I didn’t record the number of avocado pits, but there were enough to cover the bottom of my pot. My guess would be about 20 of varying sizes to result in the amount of dye produced.)

2/10/19 –

  • No mordant
  • 1st pot – about 70 deg C
  • Simmer pits for about 2 hours
  • Simmer samples for 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Let samples sit in dye water overnight

BFL Tweed Yarn – BFL Yarn – Cotton Yarn – Muslin Fabric – Linen Fabric

2/10/19 –

  • No Mordant
  • 2nd pot – just under boiling
  • Simmer for 1 hour
  • Simmer samples for 1 hour
  • Let samples sit in dye water overnight

Linen/Rayon Fabric – Cotton Yarn – BFL Tweed Yarn – BFL Yarn

An index card on a white table. There is information for the fifth and sixth avocado pit dye baths written in black ink that is detailed on this web page. 

Beneath the fifth dye bath information is 2 pink BFL yarns 1 splotchy linen fabric sample.

In the center of the card is a greyish blue FL yarn sample that was previously dyed with black beans.

The sixth dye bath samples are two BFL yarns. The BFL yarn is a light salmony pink and the BFL tweed is a light grey mauve.

Natural Dye – Avocado Pits (card 3)

2/14/19 –

  • No mordant (pot #5)
  • Simmer samples for 1 hour with previous dye bath
  • Let dye bath sit overnight

BFL – BFL Tweed – Linen – BFL Tweed + Black Bean cold dye

2/16/19 –

  • No mordant (pot #6)
  • Simmer samples for 1 hour with previous dye bath
  • Let dye bath sit overnight

BFL Tweed Yarn – BFL Tweed Fabric

An index card on a white table. There is information for the third and fourth avocado pit dye baths written in black ink that is detailed on this web page. 

The third dye bath samples include 2 BFL yarns  in a dark brownish pink color and a cotton yarn in a light pink.

The fourth dye bath sample is a Merino yarn in a mid-tone pink with gold sparkle.

Natural Dye – Avocado Pits (card 2)

2/11/19 –

  • No mordant (pot #3)
  • Added 2.5 tsp baking soda (about a 9 on a pH test strip)
  • Simmer pits for 1 hour
  • Leave samples in dye overnight

BFL Yarn – BFL Tweed Yarn – Cotton Yarn

2/12/19 –

  • No mordant (pot #4)
  • Simmer Merino/Stellina skein for 1 hour in 2/11/19 dye vat
  • Leave yarn in dye water overnight

Merino Yarn with Stellina (For Mom)

An index card on a white table. There is information for the 6b, seventh, and eighth avocado pit dye baths written in black ink that is detailed on this web page. 

The 6b BFL sample is a light pinkish beige color.

The seventh BFL tweed smaple is  ligth pink.

The eighth BFL sample is a light pink.

Natural Dye – Avocado Pits (card 4)

2/16/19 –

  • No mordant (pot #6b)
  • Add pits to previous dye and 2.5 tsp baking soda
  • Simmer for 2 hours
  • Simmer skein for 1 hour
  • Leave in dye overnight

BFL Yarn

2/17/19 –

  • No mordant (pot #7)
  • Simmer skin in original baking soda dye for 2 hours
  • Leave overnight

BFL Tweed Yarn

2/18/19 –

  • No mordant (pot #8)
  • Simmer skein in original baking soda dye for 1 hour
  • Leave overnight

BFL Yarn


An index card on a white table. The information for the paprika dye detailed on this web page is handwritten in black ink.
An index card on a white table. There are 5 fabric samples and 2 yarn samples stapled to the card. The first 4 fabric samples are offwhite. The linen and bleach muslin are the closes to white. The linen/rayon is a light grey. The natural muslin is a very light greyish tan. The cotton yarn is a very light greyish tan. The BFL yarn sample is a light tan. The last fabric sample is yellow.

Linen Fabric – Linen/Rayon Fabric – Bleached Muslin Fabric – Natural Muslin Fabric – Cotton Yarn – BFL Yarn – Exhaust Cotton Fabric W/ Turmeric

Natural Dye – Paprika

Mordant: Alum = 8%

1/19/19 –

  • Mordant fabric and yarn – simmer 1 hour
  • Leave in water over night

1/20/19 –

  • Bring water to simmer and add 3 tsp paprika to water
  • Dye bath for 1 hour
  • Let cool
  • Fabric – wash and dry by machine
  • Yarn – rinse 2xs cold water with Dawn and line dry

Exhaust bath + turmeric – no change to turmeric color on fabric, left in turmeric water for about 4 days, then washed and dried by machine


Natural Dye – Coffee & Tea

Mordant: Alum = 8%

1/19/19 –

  • Mordant fabric and yarn – simmer 1 hour
  • Simmer/boil coffee & tea (used grounds and leaves) for 1 hour
  • Dip samples in iron water modifier
  • Dye bath for 1 hour
  • Let cool
  • Fabric – wash and dry by machine
  • Yarn – rinse 2xs cold water with Dawn and line dry

An index card on a white table. The information for the coffee and tea dye detailed on this web page is handwritten in black ink.
An index card on a white table. There are 4 fabric samples and 2 yarn samples stapled to the card. The 4 fabric samples are of varying shades of medium grey. The cotton yarn sample is a little darker grey than the fabrics. The BFL yarn sample is a dark greyish brown color.

Linen Fabric – Linen/Rayon Fabric – Bleached Muslin Fabric – Natural Muslin Fabric – Cotton Yarn – BFL Yarn


An index card on a white table. The information for the clementine peel dye detailed on this web page is handwritten in black ink.
An index card on a white table. There are 4 fabric samples and 2 yarn samples stapled to the card. The fabric samples are varying shades of grey. The linen/rayon is the most grey. The linen and bleached muslin are just off white. The cotton yarn is just off white. The BFL yarn is a tan-grey color and is the darkest sample.

Linen Fabric – Linen/Rayon Fabric – Bleached Muslin Fabric – Natural Muslin Fabric – Cotton Yarn – BFL Yarn

Natural Dye – Clementine Peels

Mordant: Alum 8%

1/19/19 –

  • Mordant fabric and yarn – simmer on low/medium heat 1 hour
  • Simmer peels 1 hour on low/medium heat
  • Dip samples into iron water modifier
  • Dye bath for 1 hour
  • Let cool
  • Fabric – wash and dry by machine
  • Yarn – rinse 2xs cold water / Dawn and line dry

Natural Dye – Forest Mushrooms (species unknown)

Mordant: Alum 8% of dry weight

Iron modifier: 2 weeks old

12/28/18 –

  • Mushrooms soaking for approximately 2 weeks in water (smells)
  • Set fabric and yarn to soak in water overnight

12/29/18 –

  • Simmered mushrooms in water on low/medium heat for 1 hour (smell lingers all day)
  • Fabric and yarn half dipped in iron water
  • Strain mushrooms, mixed in about 2% alum to dry weight of fabric
  • Simmer sampled for 1 hour, let cool in water and pot
  • Line dry samples outside, then wash and dry. Low dryer = fabric, line = yarn.
An index card on a white table. The information for the forest mushroom dye detailed on this web page is handwritten in black ink.
An index card on a white table. There are 4 fabric samples and 1 yarn sample stapled to the card. They are in varying shades of orangey grey. The linen/rayon is the greyest of the samples and the linen retains the most white.

Linen Fabric – Linen/Rayon Fabric – Bleached Muslin Fabric – Natural Muslin Fabric – Cotton Yarn


An index card on a white table. The information for the Turmeric dye transcribed to this website is written in black ink.
A white index card on a white table. There are 4 fabric turmeric dye fabrics and 1 turmeric dye yarn stapled to the card. All 5 sampels are a similar shade of yellow. The linen/rayon sample is slightly more grey than the others.

Linen Fabric – Linen/Rayon Fabric – Bleached Muslin Fabric – Natural Muslin Fabric – Cotton Yarn

An index card on a white table. There are 4 fabric samples stapled to the card that were used in the turmeric exhaust dye bath. The second and fourth samples are a yellowing parchment color, the first is a light yellow, and the third is a yellowish tan color.

Exhaust Cotton Fabric Dye (2nd bath)

Natural Dye – Turmeric

Mordant: Alum 8% of dry weight 12/13/18

Iron modifier: 2 weeks old

12/28/18

  • Set fabric and yarn to soak in water overnight

12/29/18

  • Bring water to simmer over low/medium heat
  • Stir in 10.22 g alum then approximately 3 dashes of turmeric
  • Simmer samples for 1 hour (half dipped in iron modifier)
  • Let cool in the pot
  • Line dried, then washed and dried low in dryer for fabric, line for yarn


Procion Dye – Plant Fibers

Chem stock – 1 part soda ash, 1 part salt, 32 parts water

1 cup dye chem solution with 1/4 tsp dye powder (blue with a smidge of black)

Water near boiling

Mixed dye and sit in jar for 24 hours (warm)

Rinse 2x’s cold with blue Dawn soap

Fabric 1x’s hot in washing machine and machine dried low

Yarn 2x’s boiling water, line dried

An index card laid out on a white table. The handwritten information in blue ink regarding Procion Dye experiments on this card have been typed as text on this page.
An index card on a white table. Three fabric swatches are taped to the card with black and white washi tape. The left and middle swatches are light blue with dark blue fold lines. The right swatch is a medium/dark blue with light blue fold lines.
An index card on a white table. Three fabric swatches are taped to the card with black and white washi tape. All three are light blue with dark blue fold lines. The left and middle swatches are thin, easily wrinkled fabrics.
An index card on a white table. There is a strip of washi tape along the top with orange jack o'lanterns. There is a mini skein of medium blue cotton yarn stapled to the card.
An index card on a white table. Three fabric swatches are taped to the card with black and white washi tape. The left swatch is a previously dyed cotton swatch overdyed blue to a teal-blue with light beige fold lines. The middle swatch is a middle blue with lgith blue fold lines. The right swatch is a light blue with dark blue fold lines.
An index card on a white table. Three fabric swatches are taped to the card with black and white washi tape. All three swatches are a medium blue with dark blue fold lines.
An index card on a white table.  There is a mini skein of medium blue cotton yarn with light blue resist spots stapled to the card.

An index card laid flat on a white table. The left side of the card has hand written information that is written in text on this page for the iron dye. On the right is stapled a strip of cotton fabric that is a light orange/tan with splotches of rust.

Natural Dye – Iron Dye

Mordant: Alum 8% dry weight 12/13/18 – 12/15/18

  • Iron screws removed from 1 week old iron modifier
  • Screws folded into cotton fabric and bound with rubber bands
  • Simmered on low/medium heat for 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Done after birch bark bath without change
  • Let cool over night
  • Unrolled and air dried
  • Machine washed and dried low


Natural Dye – Birch Bark

Mordant: Alum 8% dry weight 12/13/18 – 12/14/18

  • Bark soaked in water 24 hours
  • Bark simmered in water on low/medium heat for 1 hour and drained
  • Fabric added dry, cotton yarn added damp*
  • Dye bath for 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Let cool in dye water in plastic bag
  • Air dry
  • Washing machine rinse and dryer dry low

*except half sample dipped in 1 week old iron modifier

Photo of two index cards laid out on a white table. The top index card has written information detailed in text on this page for the birch bark dye.

The bottom index card has 5 dye samples stapled to it. There are 4 fabric strips in linen, linen/rayon, bleached muslin, and natural muslin and 1 cotton yarn. They are all in shades of a light beige/tan color. The linen/rayon is a little more grey than the others. The linen is a little more brown than the others. The bleached muslin is the lightest color.

Linen Fabric – Linen/Rayon Fabric – Bleached Muslin Fabric – Natural Muslin Fabric – Cotton Yarn


Photo of two index cards laid out on a white table. The top index card has written information detailed in text on this page for the Acorn Shell dye.

The bottom index card has 5 dye samples stapled to it. There are 4 fabric strips in linen, linen/rayon, bleached muslin, and natural muslin and 1 cotton yarn. They are all in shades of a light beige/tan color. The linen/rayon is a little more grey than the others. The natural muslin is a little more brown than the others.

Linen Fabric – Linen/Rayon Fabric – Bleached Muslin Fabric – Natural Muslin Fabric – Cotton Yarn

Natural Bye – Acorn shells

Mordant: Alum 8% dry weight 12/13/18 – 12/14/18

  • Acorns soaked in water for 24 hours
  • Acorns simmered low/medium heat in water for 1 hour and drained
  • Fabric added dry, cotton yarn added damp*
  • Dye bath for 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Let cool in dye water in plastic bag
  • air dry
  • Washed in machine and dryer dry low

*except half sample dipped in 1 week old iron modifier


Natural Dye – Sumac bark/twigs

(later determined to actually be bark and twigs from Campsis Radicans)

Mordant: Alum 8% of dry weight 12/13/18 – 12/14/18

  • Sumac soaked in water for 24 hours
  • Sumac simmered in water for 1 hour and drained
  • Fabric added dry, cotton yarn added damp*
  • Dye bath for 1 hour 15 minutes low/medium heat
  • Let cool in dye water in plastic bag
  • Air dry
  • Washing machine rinse and dryer dry low

*except half sample dipped in 1 week old iron modifier

Photo of two index cards laid out on a white table. The top index card has written information detailed in text on this page for the sumac bark/twig dye.

The bottom index card has 5 dye samples stapled to it. There are 4 fabric strips in linen, linen/rayon, bleached muslin, and natural muslin and 1 cotton yarn. They are all in shades of a light greyish tan color. The linen/rayon is a little more grey than the others. The natural muslin is a little more brown than the others.

Linen Fabric – Linen/Rayon Fabric – Bleached Muslin Fabric – Natural Muslin Fabric – Cotton Yarn


Photo of two index cards laid out on a white table. The top index card has written information detailed in text on this page for the winterberry dye.

The bottom index card has 5 dye samples stapled to it. There are 4 fabric strips in linen, linen/rayon, bleached muslin, and natural muslin and 1 cotton yarn. They are all in shades of a light beige/tan color. The linen/rayon is a little more grey than the others. The natural muslin is a little more brown than the others.

Linen Fabric – Linen/Rayon Fabric – Bleached Muslin Fabric – Natural Muslin Fabric – Cotton Yarn

Natural Dye – Winterberries

Mordant: Alum 8% dry weight 12/13/18

  • Winterberries simmered in water for 1 hour and drained (smells!)
  • Fabric added dry, cottton yarn added damp*
  • Dye bath for 1 hour 15 minutes low/medium heat
  • Let cool in dye water in plastic bag
  • Air dry
  • Washing machine rinse and dryer dry low

*except half sample dipped in 1 week old iron modifier