Chris McLaughlin from Home-Ag.com has been an entrepreneur and gardener since she was just a little girl and sold plant cuttings in dixie cups. What started out as just dying eggs became many experiments with different types of cloths and dye plants. When she realized that the craft people talked about dye plants but the gardeners weren’t, she decided to write a book about dye plants: A Garden to Dye For: How to Use Plants from the Garden to Create Natural Colors for Fabrics & Fibers
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Listen as Chris shares plants that work for dyes that might be in your yard or along the road. You don’t have to start a garden – although you can if you want to. She encourages you to start with plants or fruit and vegetables you have and explains how it is simpler than many think to make the dye. You can even find things at the grocery store to use for dyes; hear how Chris “forages” at the grocery store for free.
A couple cautions she shared:
- Use your brain! Be careful working around a hot stove with children.
- If you are dying something that will be consumed on purpose [like Easter eggs] or on accident [like kids play dough] make sure you make the dye from food things, not just any plant.
- When she mentions working with walnuts she is referring to the hulls and not the actual nut.
Something interesting: Chris mentioned to me that she loves this cozy mystery book series Haunted Yarn Mysteries based on people that love to use dye plants. In fact, Chris’ new book is mentioned in one of the series. How fun is that!
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Want to learn more about Chris? We have a written interview with her about her other book – Vertical Vegetable Gardening.