So what natural dyes did you look at?
Well, one was turmeric.
The colour's great, it's a really strong yellow.
It's generally used in dishes like curry.
It's meant to be quite good for your health when eaten.
But you might find it's not permanent when it's used as a dye-a few washes, and it's gone.
Right, I used beetroot as a dye for wool.
When I chop up beetroot to eat I always end up with bright red hands.
But the wool ended up just a sort of watery cream shade.
Disappointing. There's a natural dye called Tyrian purple. Have you heard of that?
Yes. It comes from a shellfish, and it was worn in ancient times.
But only by important people as it was rare.
I didn't use it. It fell out of use centuries ago, though one researcher managed to get hold of some recently.
But that shade of purple can be produced by chemical dyes nowadays.
Did you use any black dyes?
Logwood. That was quite complicated.
I had to prepare the fabric so the dye would take.
I hope you were careful to wear gloves.
Yes. I know the danger with that dye.
Good. It can be extremely dangerous if it's ingested.
Now, presumably you had a look at an insect-based dye?
Like cochineal, for example?
Yes. I didn't actually make that,
I didn't have time to start crushing up insects to get the red colour and anyway they're not available here.
But I managed to get the dye quite easily from a website. But it cost a fortune.
I can see why it's generally just used in cooking, and in small quantities.
Yes, it's very effective, but that's precisely why it's not used as a dye.
I also read about using metal oxide.
Apparently you can allow iron to rust while it's in contact with the fabric, and that colours it.
Yes, that works well for dying cotton.
But you have to be careful as the metal can actually affect the fabric
and so you can't expect to get a lot of wear out of fabrics treated in this way.
And the colours are quite subtle, not everyone likes them.
Anyway, it looks as if you've done a lot of work. . .