Making vibrant green with natural dyes
You would think that green, being such an abundant color in nature, would be an easy color to achieve through natural dyeing. In fact, it’s much trickier. You can obtain mossy greens by dyeing with yellow and using modifiers such as copper and iron. But to get vibrant, bright green, the best way is by using Indigo to make blue and then over-dyeing with yellow.
There are several ways to dye with indigo. I use a natural fermentation vat. It’s similar to making beer or wine in that it needs to feed on sugars and be kept between 85-100º F. It’s different from all other dyes in that it does not require a mineral fixer. Instead of creating a hydrogen bond to the fiber, indigo embeds itself between the protein molecules of the wool.
Normally when dyeing green you would first dip the yarn in indigo and then over-dye with yellow but there is one exception – weld. Weld, a plant native to southern Europe, is the oldest yellow dye and revered for its bright clear yellow pigment. It is so color fast (meaning it sticks to the fiber incredibly well) that you can dye with weld first and then over-dye with indigo without contaminating your vat. What's special about this technique is that the yellow shows through the blue and gives the fiber a gorgeous, intense, yellow green.
This particular dye method gave me the color way I call Clover. It is an intense, rich green that I will make again and again.