Dyeing with Saint-John's-Wort

With the sun high in the sky, I love to take my dog deep into the woods to cool off a bit. I like to sit against one of the ancient chestnut trees and let the wind blow through my hair while listening to the soft sounds in the forest. The sun peeks through the leaves of the trees, but that doesn’t matter because the with moss covered stones and cool earth give me comfort. When I walk down from the mountains, I walk through fields of wild flowers. The flowers of Saint-John’s-Wort are easy to recognise with their happy yellow coloured flowers shining bright like the summer sun.

The flowers of the Saint-John’s-Wort produce green, red and yellow shades, and can be used fresh or dried. For this dye adventure I used fresh cut flowers and let them simmer until the dye liquid was deep red. I strained off the dye liquid, added the linen fabric and let it simmer until the dye bath gave the linen a beautiful shade of golden yellow.

I usually dye only with linen but sometimes I can get my hands on some local wool and dye a skein or two for small knitting projects. For a green colour I add a mordanted wool skein to the dye bath and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Deep earthy red colours are achieved by simmering unmordanted wool skeins for about an hour in the dye bath.

Wishing you a lovely summer and happy dyeing!

x Claire