Eucalyptus Dyed Scarf

Eucalyptus Leaf Dyed Silk Scarf

Having read India Flint’s wonderful book on eco colour and printing, I discovered that you can get some beautiful natural dyes using Eucalyptus leaves. So during a recent holiday in Corfu, I gathered a bag full of Eucalyptus leaves from the trees that were growing along the roadsides and thought I would give it a try.
The leaves had dried out by the time I started this project. So I sprayed them with a bit of water to moisten them. Then I layed the leaves out onto one side of a silk scarf that I had dampened with water.

Eucalyptus Dye on Silk

When I had spread out all the Eucalyptus leaves, I turned the scarf over to cover the leaves.

Eucalyptus Dye on Silk

I then rolled the scarf around a cardboard tube.

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye on Silk

I tightly wrapped the dye package with linen yarn so that all of the bundle was covered.

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye

I then placed the silk scarf dye package into a dyepot and let it simmer for a few hours – no mordant was used. Then I turned the heat off and put a lid onto the pot.
It can take several days for all of the colour to disperse from the Eucalyptus leaves and to imprint onto the silk fabric.
I let this dyepot sit untouched for about 3 weeks. The dypeot will get a bit smelly as the dye ferments, so it is best to leave it outside while the dye matures.

Eucalyptus Leaf Dye

The Eucalyptus dye project looks very hopeful as I begin to unwrap the scarf. The linen yarn that I wrapped the dye package with has a nice colour.

Eucalyptus Dye on Silk
Eucalyptus Dyed Silk Scarf

It worked! I am quite happy with the result 🙂

Eucalyptus Leaf Dyed Silk Scarf

There is still quite a bit of dye colour in the dyebath, so I think I will try to reuse the dyebath and dye something else.

Eucalyptus Dyed Scarf
Eucalyptus Dyed Scarf on Etsy

Natural Dye Books
Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles

The Wild Dyer: A Maker’s Guide to Natural Dyes with Projects to Create and Stitch (learn how to forage for plants, prepare textiles for dyeing, and … from coasters to a patchwork blanket)

The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Home

The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use

A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers

A Heritage of Colour: Natural Dyes Past and Present

Natural Dyes: Sources, Traditions, Technology & Science

Last Updated on March 21, 2021 by Paivi Suomi

By Paivi Suomi

I've had an interest in weaving, looms, yarns and textiles since I was a small child. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, do needlepoint at my mother's knee. My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway. I am very interested in studying more about traditional Saami and Finnish style weaving and handicrafts. Paivi Suomi