Sunday, May 26, 2013

Experimental mohair dyeing - using Rhubarb

I was chopping rhubarb for a couple of apple-rhubarb crumbles I was making yesterday when it occurred to me that there was a fair amount of colour staining coming from the skin on the stems. I decided to see if the colour from the rhubarb could be used to dye mohair (I've used brown and red onion skins successfully in the past, as well as beetroot and kool aid... so this was just another thing to have a play with!)

The crisp white mohair.

adding the rhubarb.

We also added a dash of vinegar to help set the dye (as it was a plant-based dye. When using berries apparently it's better to use salt)

After about 20mins bubbling away on the stove all the colour had leached out of the rhubarb .

You can see how yellow the rhubarb ended up! The liquid was a murky pinky colour.

The mohair didn't get quite as dark as the liquid, but it did soak up a pretty pastel pink tinge.

(at this point my crumble was ready to cook as well!) 

Even after rinsing it was still a really lovely pink. This is the fur still wet. We hung it to dry outside for 24hrs

This is the dry-result. Only a very pale colour, and not quite as 'clean' a pink as it looked when wet - but I still think this will work quite nicely for an antique looking bear, or even some cute little pigs? Stay tuned to see the final product! 

(and I had fully intended to take a cooked photo of the crumble... but we started eating it before I remembered to!) 


  1. I* think a little bear called Rhubarb is about to be born.

  2. Hi Emma
    Love your post - I have rhubarb growing, so I'm going to give it a go. The crumble looks great too - yum!