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A Dyer's Garden

Touching on the history and nature of dye plants, this comprehensive guide walks readers through a garden season from design to planting to harvesting for the dyepot, discussing 18 dye plants in detail. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Paperback: 112 pages

Publisher: Interweave Press

Language: English


Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 7.3 inches

Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces

Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,967,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #86 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Wild Plants #249 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Needlecrafts & Textile Crafts > Dye #363 in Books > Science & Math > Agricultural Sciences > Agronomy

Rita gives CLEAR instructions on WHAT part of the plant to harvest for which color; which mordants and which fibers produce which colors; and what time of the year to harvest the plant. In addition, her color photos of the color outcome are neatly stacked along the right edge, enabling the reader to flip through the book to see the colors. There is also an appendix listing where the reader can get seeds for the plants in the book. Anyone interested in trying GOOD dye plants (almost any plant will give you at least tan) should have this small, well-written and beautifully illustrated book. Rita is one of the best.

I particularly recommend this book as a visual source for historical re-enactors. Too often there are descriptions of what dye-plants were used to color garments, but, no examples of what those colors would look like. This book provides clear, vivid color photos on a whole range of dye-plants grown during pre-medieval, medieval, Colonial, and later times. Additionally, it shows the same dye used on different fibers, sometimes with different mordants (fixers). Fiber samples include linen, wool, silk, and cotton. I recommend this book to people interested in making clothing from "modern" gives them the best opprotunity possible to try to find close color-matches. Alternately, it provides solid information to dye cloth by hand. Also, the low price can't be beat!

Beautifully researched, solid data, and great color illustrations and presentation AND amazingly enough, her information is ACCURATE. No theoretical blather based on other references or wishful thinking. She has clearly tested, cross-checked, and validated all of her information first-hand. That in itself is remarkable, greatly appreciated, enormously valuable. Thank you Ms. Buchanan!

For those doing creative re-enactment (SCA, Renn faires), this is an essential reference for growing and using natural dye plants. The book includes plants to grow, plants NOT to grow (invasive species), and plants that pay off with dye materials in one season. The margins of the book are organized by color family, and there are lovely schematics on how to organize a dye-plant garden for production or for high-intensity cultivation with raised rows--or just a pretty border. There are some basics of plant dyeing, information on mordants (salts that change color or cause it to stick to fiber.) A small but potent book, probably a must for anyone doing authentic reproduction of antique fibers or for anyone who likes the idea of home-dyed fiber but with naturally-obtained materials. Great for home schooling. Highly recommended.

This book focuses mainly on the home growing and use of dye plants. There is even a section devoted to the layout of the home dye garden. General mordanting and dye bath info is given at the beginning of the book. In the "Portfolio of Dye Plants" which follows, two pages are devoted to each dye plant. For each plant, 4-10 color photos illustrate the results obtained with various mordants on different fibers. The instructions for using different plants are not in traditional recipe form. Instead, Buchanan indicates how much plant material is generally required for a given amount of fiber ("flowers from 8 plants," etc). This fits in with Buchanan's emphasis on diversity of color over reproducibility, but it could be troublesome for users of purchased dyestuffs. In short, this book is nice to look at, easy to use, and appears to contain highly useful information for dyer/gardeners.

This book is a perfect match for my interests! As a fiber artists I love hand dyed yarns and fabrics, and I also enjoy gardening. This book is a perfect guide to combine my two interests.The author gives excellent instructions on what plants to plant (and not to plant because they are invasive), what plants give what colors (and which colors you cannot get out of plants, but can get out of other natural sources, such as insects). She provides instructions on both growing plants and dyeing using plants. Instructions are clear, the tone is friendly and easy to follow, the pictures are beautiful.The book contains the following chapters:1. Choosing which plants to grow2. Getting and growing dye plants3. Planning a dye garden4. The basics of dyeing with plants5. Colors and colors6. A portfolio of dye garden plants7. SuppliesI enjoyed this book from cover to cover and will be coming back to it again as a reference for my garden!Ali Julia Review

In all my research about naturally dyeing fabric, this book is constantly referred to as "the Bible". It is very helpful and easily laid out. The info is concise and has thwarted my purchasing the wrong variety of an herb- thankfully. I have several books on natural dyeing and this one is a must have.

This book is amazing. It covers everthing you need to know about dye plants and how to grow and use them. The book has a whole section of full color examples of the different plant based dyes used on different fibers with different mordants, clearly showing the differences in color between the mordants and the fibers. For that alone I would consider the book worth twice the price. Combined with the cultivation information, and the detailed information about each plant, the book is indispensible to those interested in natural dyes.I highly recommend both this book and her other book "The Weavers Garden" to anyone interested in spinning, weaving, dyeing, plants, historic re-enactors, or costume or textile historians.

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