Thursday, 19 July 2012

Over dyeing wool with Walnut husks!

I had great plans for the walnut dye, I managed to bottle some months ago; it was going to be:
Hair dye,
Dried to a paste and used as henna,
Wood stainer,
De-wormer for the animals,
I was going to dye all my fleeces, that sit in bags waiting to be carded and spun.
But instead, I have done something simple and easy… The pleasing result of transforming bright pink yarn and a lemon coloured mohair shawl into an earthy tribute to the walnut tree!
Brown hippy juice, I have heard black walnut dye referred to, probably because of the earthy brown that it usually turns everything, although in this case, I got gold and dusky pink... it’s super powerful and during the process of filling my bottles with the liquid I extracted, my hands dyed a dark brown that stayed for weeks, as a reminder that gloves are sometimes useful.
It was all a simple process- boiling the husks after removing the kernel, then sieving into a bottle…
Later when I was ready to use, I placed the item in the dye water with a cap full of natural wool wash and boiled for 20 minutes, then left sit overnight.
I will be taken my beautiful browny pink yarn and knitting up another cowl, on our trip to Melbourne this week end.
See you when I get back.


  1. hahaha oh yes...walnut certainly does stain.... or dye... and to think I could have used it as henna on my belly (bet it would have lasted longer)! Have a great weekend!

  2. Oh, gosh! That is beautiful! I have some walnut dye in the freezer. I've used it so many times that I get a grey now instead of a brown. This fall I will collect those lovely green hulls again but this time, yes, gloves will be involved. (:

  3. beautiful! I collected a bag full of walnuts last year to dye some yarn, but I forgot the bag outside overnight and the squirrels took every. single. one! I hope to try again this year. Your colours look fantastic.

  4. It turned out lovely! Walnuts make such a lovely brown dye. If you add iron while cooking it, it makes a dark black.


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