Hawaii Dye Plants and Dye Recipes

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University of Hawaiʻi Press
Val Frieling Krohn-Ching
Softcover, 136 pp.

Back in Print! For those who work with FIBER in weaving, spinning, crocheting, knitting, macrame; for those who work with CLOTH in batik, tie-dying, quilting, applique, soft sculpture, sewing. With this book you can come one step closer to making it from “scratch” – increasing your involvement and satisfaction in your craft, while enhancing the beauty and value of your finished product.
Rich, soft, subtle colors, not easily copied by synthetic man-made dyes, are commonly obtained from natural dye sources. The end reward is beautiful natural colors, but equally rewarding is the pleasure to be derived from collecting natural materials and from the dyeing process itself. The world around you becomes a treasure house of “hidden” possibilities, with common and readily available plant materials yielding colors that can be as surprising as they are special.

Like the ancient Hawaiians who colored their tapa cloth with dyes from kukui, ferns, and other plants of their islands, you become more sensitive to your natural environment. A greater respect for craftspeople of the past and a deeper appreciation for the materials are every natural dyer’s gain.

Val Frieling Krohn-Ching is a distinguished weaving and textile design artist whose curiosity and desire for experimenting has also made her the authority on dyeing with plant materials in Hawaii using wool fibers. She now shares the results of her years of experimentation – and her enthusiasm – with others. Even beginners can use her basic principles and techniques successfully to achieve new results of their own.

Hawaii Dye Plants and Dye Recipes is itself an artistic production, filled with charming, botanically accurate pen-and-ink drawings to aid in plant identification. Instructions are concise and easy to follow. Interesting information about each plant enlivens the text, as do personal comments about the author’s experimentation and sources of natural materials. A color chart, photographed from actual wool samples prepared by the author, shows more than 300 beautiful results that the natural dyer can achieve using recipes in this book.