After coming across to s glut of wild blackberries I have decided to do some dyeing with blackberry. While I am not asking anyone to go out and buy some blackberry from the supermarket just for dyeing. But if you excess or they are no longer fit for consumption. It’s a great way to use it before it goes to the compost bin.
The whole plant berries, the leaves and bark all have got good dyeing properties. The bark and leaves will yield different colour compare to the berries. This post will just focus on dyeing with blackberry berries as blackberry bush are full of thorns and to be honset I don’t most people are up for it. But the leaves and the back do yield different colour compare to the berries.
Blackberry are easy to grow at home as well here is a link on how to grow blackberries.
Dyeing with blackberry berries
If mordant is use pre or post dye pot it will have different colour effect. I use alum and iron as a mordant. For fibres I use cotton for cellulose fibre. Silk and wool for protein based fibres. As dyeing on different fibres will have different colour depth as a result.
Preparing the dye pot
For dyeing with blackberry berries first of all crush or purée the berries in a blender. If they soft enough you don’t need to use a blender. You don’t need much. One can actually see how the effect when you start picking ripen berries. Some books recommend to slowly simmer the crushed berries in a low heat for 30 minutes. You don’t really have to do that.
However like most dyeing process the longer (left to seep overnight) or more dips into the dye pot the deeper the colour will become. In this experiment I have used no mordant, pre dye alum and post dye iron. Lovely vivid colour. However, be mindful that the colour will not be as strong after drying as it will be a lot paler.