Birch leaves are abundant in the Scandinavian countries and were considered poor man’s dye because while it’s relatively lightfast, it does fade – and boy did poor people use and abuse their few sets of clothes in those days! But – no worries. They just re-dyed it every summer, voila, good for another season. (What I don’t understand is how they could wear them for more than a season, my hardworking clothes get worn out in a heartbeat – says something for quality of modern fabrics, doesn’t it). I’m thinking perhaps they also didn’t mordant and that’s why it faded sooner?
Anyway, I found the yellows of the birch a bit dull on my first try, lovely and blending in with nature, but in my initial plant dyeing craze I’ve been going for as much vibrancy as possible. That may change – I do see some natural fleece dying projects in my future, from sheep to sweater kinda thing. Or wall hangings actually.
Soooo, I haven’t explored it extensively yet. What I thought I’d do apart from showing my measly results from last year is write up a summary of the older recipes I’ve found in out of print books, my thoughts on future experimenting and perhaps a few links for the hungry.