Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Herb Society Meeting: Herbal Dyes

I was so excited for last night's Herb Society meeting because the workshop was supposed to focus on soap making. I tried making soap. Twice. It didn't go so well, so I really was really hoping to get it straight last night. Sadly, though, there was a bit of confusion and the two ladies that were running the thing both thought that the other was in charge of soap making. They both focused on herbal dyes instead. Oh, well. At least it was still something interesting.

Some interesting things about herbal dyes:
-You can use the leaves, petals, stems, bark, or even roots to make dye.

-The color of the various plant parts used for dye, isn't necessarily the color the dye will be. For example, St. John's Wort has yellow flowers but the plant will actually create a beautiful, brilliant red dye.

-Textiles in order from easiest to hardest to dye:
1. wool
2. cotton
3. linen
4. silk

-Dye color can change according to when you harvest the plants. Season to season, it will vary.

-Herbal dye is made entirely with herbal extractions and without using any sort of chemicals. The process, therefore, does not pollute the environment through contamination of water resources. Or any other way, for that matter.

Off the topic of herbal dyes...
One of the women I was talking to last night said that she only uses baking soda and rain water to wash her hair and apple cider vinegar and rain water to rinse. I already use an infused vinegar rinse, so of course I'm now intrigued to try the baking soda to wash! I've read that the baking soda amounts people use vary from using a thick paste to diluting it in a spray bottle, so I guess I'm going to have to experiment with what will work for me. I've also read that the baking soda solution should focus on the scalp, whereas the vinegar rinse should focus on the length of your hair. Apparently, people who have success with this method do not need to wash their hair every day. That is my main concern. I work out regularly and, therefore, sweat. Will I really be able to get away with not washing my hair daily? I'm still researching this, so if anyone has any experience please share in the comments! Thanks!

EDIT: I found Babyslime's blog post to have a lot of good information about going "no 'poo."

1 comment:

Kirsten said...

I want to find an herb or gardening group around here. I'm not outgoing enough to start my own group. I'm envious!