Welcome to what Domonique Cardon calls “the great living laboratories of dye production”. These solitary black Walnut trees are loved and hated for the same reason – juglone.
This compound found in Walnut shells, barks and roots is stronger than tannins (present in Walnut and most natural dyes that do not require mordants) but is toxic to the growth of any surrounding flora.
After devouring a fresh walnut, we love using its hull, which would otherwise be thrown away, for our dyeing experiments!
the shades it holds
Only the freshest Walnuts are gathered, ground and packed for you. If you’re a lover of the unending shades of brown, Walnut dye is for you. You can get subtle beiges and deep browns, just by varying the total time your fabric spends in the dyebath. Over-dyeing on deep indigo will give you midnight blacks.
As it doesn’t require mordanting, it is a great dye to play around with for beginners. All you need is to slow down and give it time.
from one dyer to another
Dyeing with natural colours involves letting nature take its course. The shades you get will depend on the quantity of dye, water’s composition, dyebath’s pH, mordants, type of fabric, weather conditions and your own skill. This means it’ll take some time and a lot of practice before you can create the exact colours you were hoping for.
That’s why we urge you to enjoy the process of colouring using pieces from this Earth instead of worrying about the final product. Savour the moment you hold the fabric that you coloured and all the tiny imperfections it holds.
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